My family was never one to have Christmas traditions…or so I thought. I suppose it is not until one leaves the nest that she realizes the meaning in all those memories. It’s been years since the family’s been together under one roof, but four things I can always count on:
1. Mom telling us in October, “I plan to get my shopping done really early this year.”
2. Laughing every Christmas Eve when Mom is still scrambling for last-minute gifts
4. The sweet aroma of cloves & oranges in the living room
- bunch of oranges
- jar of whole cloves
- something sharp and pointy
- assortment of dishes
- maybe some Christmas tree trimmings for added visual and olfactory pleasure
Get the family together for this one. It’ll take ten minutes tops. First, visualize a pattern. Be creative: initials, zigzags, ocean waves, circles, snowflakes, suns, daisies… Then get poking. Pierce the orange peels with a sharp knife or point to prevent the clove from crumbling in your fingertips…they aren’t exactly cheap. Once a set is complete, choose a dish and create an arrangement as you would with flowers. Lay the oranges on a bed of Christmas tree fronds to add color and seasonal scent. Place a few on the coffee table in a decorative bowl. Set a single orange in a teacup on an end table or nightstand. Stick a dessert plate in the bathroom on the toilet. A strong, sweet aroma lasts for a good few days.
Be aware: Oranges will turn green before Christmas if you start too early. Be double aware: Eyes burn when orange juice squirts, so keep your face back while poking. Maybe have protective goggles on hand.
I know I’m posting this a little late in December, but the smell lasts even after Christmas is over. Cheers to remembering old traditions and starting new ones. Thanks for this one, mama.