Growing up, having a real Christmas tree was a big deal in our house.
My Christmas Past Soy Candle is an ode to a magical time of year, and the closest I've found to that true holiday/pine tree scent, without actually having to drag one home.
My mom loved the smell of a real tree, so picking out a 'good one' always felt important. Most of the time, this mission was presented to my mom and us kids, and we always chose to accept it.
My older brother usually couldn't be bothered, and dad got home too late from work. Truth be told, my Dad wasn't the greatest chooser of trees, anyway. If someone didn't tag along, we'd surely end up with a Charlie Brown, if you know what I mean.
But it was so exciting when we found a great one! The guy would help secure it to the top of our car and we'd drag it in, releasing countless needles absolutely everywhere. The aroma of fresh, sticky pine needles refreshed our dog-hair filled vacuum cleaner, and so began our holiday season.
Magic unfolded as we followed my mother down the basement to retrieve the box of ancient ornaments, a time capsule of memories that made an appearance once a year.
Wrapped in yellowed Newsday paper, I'd make sure to claim my favorite ornament; a slightly bent, lightly glittered paper-mache birdhouse that once belonged to my grandmother. I always placed it center stage on the tree, and I'm so happy to still own that old ornament, today.
Everyday, my mother would talk to our tree as she watered it, asking it if it were thirsty and telling it how pretty it looked. She was partial to white holiday lights, but us kids preferred the colorful ones, so that's what we used.
A special little area was set up for the blackberry brandy and my grandmothers favorite Manischewitz Concord Grape wine. Sparkly glasses that normally resided in our china cabinet came out for a short visit, and on Christmas Eve we'd eat fancy things like smoked eel and fried flounder.
And one does not simply mention Christmas' past without mentioning cats in all their tinseled glory. Back in those days, tinsel was the undisputed Queen of Christmas Glamour, and a great source of entertainment for any cat owner. We always had at least three or four cats, who considered tinsel the ultimate accessory.
For weeks after Christmas, we'd find bits of tinsel adorning the most unexpected places. I remember our cat, Sam, nonchalantly strolling into the room with a glittering trail of tinsel trailing from her back end, like some feline fashionista. Holiday time always felt like a reprieve from our everyday stressors, sprinkled with fairy dust in the form of tinsel for added comic relief.
There were plenty of presents and good food to eat. We were far from perfect, but there were some perfectly good things to love and remember about Christmas pasts, and for this I am grateful. Cheers to Christmas past, present and future. May we continue to create the memories that open our hearts to appreciate all that is good!
Christmas Past Soy Candle is part of the Wintertime Candle Collection: Inspired by the coldest of seasons, best experienced when watched through frosted window panes, hot beverage in hand.