Sights of Christmas:
The world wrapped in holiday colors of red, green, silver, and gold. Crimson berries nestled in emerald green holly leaves. Wreath-clad doors, mailboxes garbed with garland scarves, and shrubs robed in lights. The “Big Tree” towering over Lenox Square. Piled gifts spilling beyond the sheltering arms of a Christmas tree’s embrace. On, off, on, off, on, off, on, off of blinking bulbs. Windows alight in warm candle glow. Stockings hung by the chimney with care. “Kiss-me-quick” mistletoe dangling from doorways. Clydesdale horses stomping through a Currier and Ives winter wonderland. Traffic-jammed mall parking lots. Church pageant children clothed in over-sized bathrobes, cardboard wings, and pipe-cleaner halos.
Sounds of Christmas:
Salvation Army, red kettle ringers. Jingle bells jangling. Salutations of “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Holidays.” Crackling, cackling fires. Mailboxes crammed with catalogs, cards, invitations, and bills. Carolers’ off-key singing. Horn blare of traffic jams. Canned carols endlessly looping on store speakers. “’Twas the Night before Christmas” recitations. Children’s Christmas morning squeals of surprise, delight, and excitement.
Smells of Christmas:
Dusty boxes of attic-stored decorations. Fir-scented Christmas tree smell. Hickory wood smoke wafting from ice-frosted chimneys. Oven roasted turkey basting. Sugar cookies baking. Cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, peppermint, and allspice. Apple cider simmering on the stove. Flavored coffee steaming in a mug.
Feelings of Christmas:
Sticky, sappy, prickly, pine boughs. Polar breezes that cut through pants to discover where underwear ends. Cozy down comforters for long winter’s naps. Fleece, flannel, wool, fur, cashmere, leather, velvet, cardigan, and cotton layered clothes. Overcoats, gloves, hats, and scarves. Candy-cane kisses from a sugar-smeared child. Children laying awake on Christmas Eve, knowing the night will never pass. Home for the holidays. The presence of loved ones, both present and absent.
Tastes of Christmas:
Anjou pears, red delicious apples, navel oranges. Hot cocoa with sliver sprinkles of chocolate and topped with marshmallows. Sweet eggnog sprinkled with cinnamon. Honey ham, sweet potato soufflé, cornbread dressing, and deviled eggs. Gingerbread dunked in milk. Chex mix baked with butter and garlic. Some homemade pumpkin pie.
In the Gospels, one title given to Jesus is “Emmanuel” which means “God with us.” For those with eyes to see and ears to hear, God’s grace is all about us in these Holiest of Days. During this Christmas season, see, hear, smell, touch, and taste that the Lord is good!