I do love the holidays. The lights, colors, smells and sweets all help to make this darker time of the year brighter. First, I clean out fall and re-deck the halls. I put the trees on the mantle, plop bright red pillows on the sofa and get out my Santa collection and my children’s favorite Christmas books.
Every ornament and Santa picture is a happy trip down memory lane. The candy cane Rudolph and starfish Santa my children made in school. The photos with Santa at Meier and Frank’s Toyland. But those babies are Masters graduates now.
Many seasons, many changes.
For the first time this year, we did not go out to our favorite tree farm for a freshly cut Grand Fir because the family sold the property to developers to make yet another subdivision in our suburban landscape. It’s sad to see it go. But we’ll always have the memories of many family treks in the woods to find that perfect tree.
Now our perfect tree came from Amazon. I know. Some might say a faux tree is good for the environment and cutting a fresh one is bad. Or visa versa. There are good and bad sides, of course. One: it finally fits our narrow space so we don’t have to move all the furniture. Two: it’s tall and stately and clean. Three: it’s reusable every year.
But I do miss the smell and freshness of a ‘real’ tree.
I know I often see change as bad. There’s the fear of the unknown. But what I find too, is a spirit of adventure. A chance to try something new. An opening for creativity.
I missed the Grand Fir smell and I decided to see what I could do about it. First, of course, I brought out the candles and searched for ones with a ‘forest’ scent. It works. But it’s not what I was really missing: the scent in the tree itself.
Ah ha. I work in clay.
What holds scent? A bisque fired clay. What did I have in the kiln? Bisque fired red clay hearts. I unloaded the kiln and found 2 dozen nicely bisque hearts with porous clay on the back. I was just going to make magnets out of them, but I realized they could be more. Add a ribbon, and a magnet, a few drops of good scented oil and I’ve got a Christmas tree that smells like one again.
Now when I walk past the tree, all the lovely memories of fresh cut trees, Santa visits and sweet, little faces blend with our new faux fir.