When I was a child, Christmastime meant that our house transformed from the everyday usual to a festive feast for the senses. My mom loves to decorate and Christmas was the ultimate. The boxes would come down from the shelves in the garage and I was always eager to share in the veiling of the house.
Upon entering, crafty snowmen and Santa Clauses greeted guests at the door. A turn into the living room and the Christmas tree stood tall with all its brilliant lights and sentimental ornaments. An angel topper fondly looked on. Two stockings, hand knit by a great-aunt, hung on the mantle bearing the image of Santa Claus. Knick-knacks flooded the entryway, coffee table, kitchen, and bathrooms. It was as if they guided you through the house welcoming you along your journey.
My dad brought in the firewood and with a little kindling, the warmth wrapped around the room. As we decorated the tree the needles poked my hand and a remnant of sap occasionally remained. Each ornament, carefully placed, reminded us of a past memory.
Christmas songs filled the air and the world seemed a brighter place. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas…O Holy Night…Santa Claus Is Coming To Town…Jingle Bells…Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer.
A trip into the kitchen and cider could be found simmering on the stove. A waft of those sweet apples somehow transported me to a calm, peaceful place. Cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg. As I dipped the ladle in, the clove studded orange danced around as if happy to see me.
And then, there were all the delicious treats. Each day my mom and I would bake something new. Gingersnaps, sugar cookies, zebra cookies, cream cheese mints, rice pudding, and fresh bread. Our feet would ache and we would fall exhausted onto the couch, satisfied with our bounty of mouth-watering goods.
Yes, it truly was a joy of the senses.