Thanksgiving surprised me with its success and I rather think I have been insistent on standing in the kitchen and figuratively continuing to smell the turkey, while the calendar has been insistently dragging me toward December 25th.
I've been pulled unwillingly.
The holiday started off with my purchase of a 10 foot real tree instead of the 8 foot I purchased last year. This immediately set all all manner of problems into motion as the ornaments were now a little sparse, the vintage paper chain I made last year can now only complete 2 revolutions around the tree, instead of the more eye-pleasing 3, and the golden lights from 2012 (because white were not to be found) now only made it 2/3 of the way up the tree. Of course the stores that had no white lights to sell last year decided this year to purchase more white . . . and to skip the golden altogether.
And with that inauspicious beginning, Christmas prep has progressed on the same continuum.
Yes, there are little touches of Christmas all around. No one would miss the season entirely when walking through the house. It just feels a little slapdash . . . a little wobbly . . . a little unsettled.
It did occur to me this Christmas, however, that if things seemed a little askew decor-wise, then at least the house should SMELL like Christmas!!
And, indeed, smell it has!!
I've thrown peelings from sweet little mandarins, star anise, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, snips of evergreens and cloves into a small saucepan of boiling water, and the next thing you know, the house has all the enchantment of a Moroccan street market.
Never mind that the tree stand is too small for the 10 foot tree or that 2 of the 5 stockings keep falling off the mantle or that I can't find the lights for the banister garland.
My house smells divine, and everyone entering is totally blinded to any imperfections by the heady fragrance of Christmas spice!
This Christmas may not make it into the annals as the most lovely, organized and well-planned, but no one can say it doesn't at least smell like Christmas!!
This year, it's Christmas Simmer all the way!
p.s. - Easy Cheat - just throwing some orange peel and sprinkling some ground cinnamon and ground cloves into the boiling water also works!!