Are there pleasing aromas coming from your kitchen yet? Christmas is right around the proverbial corner, and I probably have more olfactory memories associated with Yuletide than any other time. During my formative years, my mom often made wassail. Traditional wassails are alcoholic, but I assure you my very Baptist mother’s was without fermentation. She used tea brewed with cinnamon and cloves, then added orange juice and lemon. I have to admit, it’s not my favorite drink. But even still, any combination of these smells takes me back to the church parties and family gatherings my parents hosted in the little house on Rita Street.
My sisters and I also made cream cheese cookies with Mama every Christmas. We used cookie cutters to shape them into candy canes and snowmen, elves and angels. When I bake a batch to golden brown and catch a whiff, I am reminded of traditions and family and cookies that were just a little extra special because of the cream cheese in the dough.
Maybe the smells you associate with Christmas differ from mine. The sharp, sweet scent of peppermint or the tangy oranges you peeled straight from your stocking. Hot cocoa or logs burning in the fireplace. The freshness of a real evergreen Christmas tree or candied fruit cake (hey, you do you). Or if you don’t live in the South like me, maybe the crisp smell of newly fallen snow signals the season.
“But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task?”
Oh, that I will be up to the task! Just like oranges and cinnamon immediately make me think of Jesus’ birthday, I want everything about me to remind others of Him. May He be all over me so others see Christ instead of me. And may I spread His life-giving scent all around.
Lord, make me a pleasing aroma this season that others recognize as You.
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