Fresh greens in a wreath can add great aromas into a room without taking up too much space. John Zvirovski / The Sun
The Thanksgiving holiday has now passed and it is officially the Christmas season. As much as people want you to believe it begins in September, for me it is not official until after the last holiday has been celebrated. This time of year has a great deal of traditional scents to fill the air and for me, some of those scents are good and some are a little less pleasant.
One of the first scents to hit us as we enter most stores is that of cinnamon. Many people adore this scent, but for me it means an instant headache with its heavy and artificial smell that seems to pour out of pine cones in bags. I personally love the smell of fresh ground cinnamon, but not that of the artificial scents.
One of the great scents of the season is that of the pine and fir stems. In this day and age, many people opt for the artificial tree that is scentless, but there are a few that still love the real trees with the aroma they emit into the air. I have always enjoyed a real tree, but if you are gone often, you have to make sure the tree remains watered and fresh. A dry tree makes for a recipe to disaster!
There are many people who don’t have the room for a real tree or are limited by the rules of an apartment complex or just by pets that make a mess with a real tree. In those cases, don’t count yourself out of enjoying the natural scents. Often I go for bunches of fresh cut evergreens to put into a vase of water for a table centerpiece or to add flowers too throughout the season.
Greens such as balsam fir, frazer fir, white pine and cedar emit amazing aromas that can fill the entire room. Sometimes you can get these greens in mixed bunches at the store for a decent price, but if you are looking for more greens for garlands, wreaths, and other decoration, sometimes it is cheaper to buy an entire tree at a mass market outlet and cut it apart to use as you please. You can get quite the amount of stems if you do it right. These can be used for both indoor and outdoor decorating.
There are other ways to bring in the scents also. One of the great options is to support a fundraiser where they sell wreaths, garlands and swags for the door. If you use these items inside, make sure they are in a place away from a heater so they do not dry out and last their longest.
If your craving is for a fresh cinnamon scent, try some fresh ground cinnamon into some oil and place into a container that can be heated by a candle and the true fresh scent will waive into the air giving you a flavor that is much more pleasing.
Bay leaves are another item that is used as an air freshener in the winter season. Simply place six to eight leaves into a small kettle of water and slowly simmer them to allow their aroma to fill the kitchen or other rooms in the house.
If you are like me and don’t have the time to bake, or actually fail at it from time to time, try finding a nicely scented candle to burn for a few hours. Many of them emit just the right amount of scent to keep it pleasant. Sugar cookie creates a nice welcoming scent into the home like fresh baked goods. For me it is easy, as I can purchase some good sugar cookies to put out in case guests drop by. To be honest, most don’t stop by for cookies as much as they probably drop by for wine or a little wassailing. Spiced cider is one of those items that is high on many people’s list.
If you are wanting to add some of the scents of the season into your home, try one of these many ideas to see which one fits your environment the best. Who knows, maybe it is the big tree, maybe it is a flower arrangement with fresh pine greens or maybe a simple live wreath fits the niche in which you are looking.
If using fresh greens or an open flame, always use care into keeping the greens fresh and away from open heat, while tending to the flame to make sure they do not get out of hand.
The holiday season is for traditional enjoyment and memories. Let’s make sure we create a few new ones and keep the expenditures at bay, as it is truly the experience and the people you encounter that make it the best it can be!