Cozying Up to the Festive Season

By Brenna Kehew Sculley

by Elysian Magazine

Every year there is a moment where I reach the pinnacle of Christmas-season feelings. The Bublé record is spinning, the scent of Christmas tree, cinnamon and cloves waft through the air, and the house is twinkling everywhere the eye can see.  There is nothing better than that cozy feeling. 

Everyone has their own arrangement of flavors, sights and sounds that gives them that special season vibe. Maybe, if you’re lucky, you can have more than one moment. 

A fuzzy blanket, Love Actually, a good Pinot Noir, and a box of peppermint chocolate bark can have me feeling it in my toes. For my daughter, give her a Christmas tree-shaped Little Debbie cake and a viewing of “Kevin Alone at Home,” as she calls it, and she is set for the season.

Sometimes, when it’s a busy Tuesday and the kids aren’t being the perfect cherubic angels I wish they would be, it takes a little bit of effort to manifest that special vibe. 

I usually start with the smells. The iconic Thymes Frasier Fir Pine Needle Candle is always lit in my house, and you can’t go wrong with lighting up your favorite holiday go-to to set the Christmas mood. Known as one of the oldest candlemakers in the world and established in 1634, any candle from Trudon is truly a treat. Their holiday selection is especially wonderful, and my favorite is the Felice with citrus and spices.

Even better on a really cold day, nothing beats a simmer pot filling your home with necessary humidity, amplified by Christmas cheer. I bring a pot of water to boil and toss in whatever good-smelling things I have around, leaving the pot uncovered on low to keep the house brimming with that sweet steam. Putting together any combination of apple peels, orange rinds, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, lemon slices, dried lavender, cranberries, or vanilla extract in a simmer pot will make your kitchen divine. And if you’re sensitive to paraffins or other things often found in candles, a simmer pot helps you not miss out on the holiday scented fun.  

As for the real Christmas tree scent, in my house it is the subject of much-heated debate. 

Growing up, my family preferred Douglas firs with their soft branches and easy fullness, but now that I have a house of my own and am subject to the watering and vacuuming of said needles, I prefer a Fraser fir as I think they hold their needles a bit better. Regardless of the type of tree, the real-tree scent is something that’s hard to skip.

Special lights, scents and sounds will transform your home into a Christmas wonderland – and that’s a gift to anyone who walks in your door.

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