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. Rudolph, Frosty, Charlie Brown, Ebenezer Scrooge, and the Little Drummer Boy on TV. 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. Cardboard manager characters casting long shadows in floodlight. “Kiss-me-quick” mistletoe dangling from doorways. Diamond stars displayed on a black velvet night. Clydesdale horses stomping through a Currier and Ives winter wonderland. Santa Claus swooshing down a snow-covered hillside on a Norelco electric razor. Traffic-jammed mall parking lots. Church pageant children clothed in oversized 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 fires of wood and gas. Mailboxes crammed with catalogs, cards, invitations, and bills. Carolers’ off-key singing. Horn blare of traffic jams. Canned carols endlessly looping on store speakers. “Blue Christmas,” “The Hallelujah Chorus,” and “Mama got ran over by a reindeer” played back-to-back-to-back on the radio. A bedtime story of “’Twas the Night before Christmas.” 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 clothes. Overcoats, gloves, hats, and scarves. Candy-cane kisses from a candy-smeared child. Children lying 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. Unopened fruit cake “regifted” from person to person, family to family, home to home, year to year. Chex mix baked with butter and garlic. Some homemade pumpkin pie.
The Five Senses of Christmas:
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!
Enjoyed the Five Senses of Christmas. I pray you and your family have a blessed Christmas. Thank you for sharing your gift of writing wonderful stories/blogs.
Wonderful reminders…..thank you!
Bill, you deliver moments where our senses can wake with memories of the best times of Christmas. We love clinging to those, especially if our hearts and souls are secretly aching. Thank you for sharing. BUT, you neglected to include the sounds of a lovely church choir and community orchestra (for which we are very grateful)! Maybe we should now include the rhythms of African drums and the “twang” of Jamaican steel drums (I have no words to effectively describe them) that energize us and make us want to stand up and praise God! Our music program at Lawrenceville FUMC is first-rate and a blessing to be shared! Thanks to all of the staff who make those moments happen for us!
We pray for your family and all of the pastors and staff at this beautiful, but volatile, time of year. It’s all good if it’s all God! Merry Christmas!!
Thanks for sharing your thoughts so eloquently on so many different subjects. I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.
I love your blog. My sights and sounds have been different being in La. We are still hearing and seeing mosquitoes. As for Christmas, I had my first experience of ringing bells for the Salvation Army at a local Walmart. It was a rewarding and fun experience. Our Church here had a kettle for the day. What a difference good volunteers with smiley faces, thank yous and words of encouragement make. I’m not seeing as much caution in this area about not allowing nativity scences or even not teaching the birth of Jesus in public schools. yea for that! On Jesus being the light, I’ve learned a great deal from my 3 year old grandson. He wanted to find Jesus one day,.after exploring around, he finally decided that Jesus was in the light, not sure if he came out of the sun. It became extremely bright as if the sun was engulfing him; even more proof for him that Jesus is in the light. He said that he saw Jesus in the light at my Church. Cookies baking, bent wires and beads, simmering apple cider.children with messy hands are all senses at my house this Christmas. The myrh and the predictions of Simeon and the song ” Mary Did You Know” are all reminders of who the Baby Jesus is. May Jesus the Savior of the world bring to each of you peace, joy, and hope this Christmas!!!