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!