It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas…

It is December 19th and the sun is shining outside.  The thermometer–a different one from yesterday’s photo!–reads almost 60 degrees.  {Maybe the thermometers aren’t really that different after all.  (grin)}  I will not need a jacket as I go about my outside chores today.  On the way to the herb garden to pick some fresh bay leaves, I noticed that the two large planters on the upper deck have plenty of healthy growth on this summer’s petunias, there are two rogue blooms on the mums in the back pots and two fading bloom clusters on the Lady Banks rose at the end of the house.  As I went into town yesterday, I passed a large forsythia bush already in bloom.  It is most definitely does NOT look like Christmas in this part of the country.

Living in the South means that we may have a very similar day once Christmas actually arrives.  Oh, we’ll still have Christmas, it just won’t look like the pictures in all of the Christmas cards on display in our entry area.

I can’t do anything about the weather, but I can enhance the holiday spirit with white lights in the leaf-free maple trees out front and a simple white spotlight on the front porch decorations.  I can place decorations in strategic places around my home–and I’ve done those things.  That still doesn’t make it reallly feel like Christmas.  What does it for me is how Christmas smells and I can make you think “Christmas!” with just one whiff as you enter my home.  The pungent scents of cedar and pine combine for a wonderful welcome thanks to the great big wreath of fresh greenery beside my front door.  (Thank you, Mama.)  There are two pots of blooming narcissus flanking the nativity set on the mantle.  Freshly baked cookies will add their own welcome in just a short while, but in the meantime, I’ve got a crockpot full of potato soup cooking for our supper and there’s a pot of “Simmering Christmas Potpurri” on the stove thanks to the seasonal gift from my precious #2.

Just in case you’re somewhere it doesn’t look like Christmas, either–or if you just want to add a bit of Christmas cheer to your home, I’m including Patty’s recipe below: 

Simmering Christmas Potpurri

1 Orange–quartered

1 Lemon–quartered

10 whole cloves

2 cinnamon sticks

1 bay leaf

2 cups of water

Simmer on the stove to enjoy the smells of Christmas.  Add more water and use for several days. (As usual, I don’t always follow the directions exactly…and it generally turns out just fine!)

Breathe deeply, friends.  It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas!

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