Some of these smells came from crafts my mother and I started long before Christmas in preparation for the busier holiday weeks as well as getting ready for advent and and all the wonderful customs that it entailed which we needed to be ready for ahead of time.
A few of these things we still carry on in my family now, and while they are so easy to put together and fun to do with your kids they bring back these memories of sweet holiday magic.
There is still time to create some clove oranges and let the intoxicating smell fill your house, simmer a pot of holiday spices to keep the spirits going and other fun activities that help carry the spirit into the New Year.
Maybe some of these will become a new holiday practice for your family.
Clove orangesMy mom and I made clove oranges early in November as it helps to keep them in a paper bag for a couple of weeks to ferment, but any time is a great time for this potent smell. The spicy citrus aroma of clove oranges is intoxicating, and they’re decorative as well. You can create all kinds of designs with the cloves and five spice anise stars. Typically we did tend to create stars and crosses on our oranges but anything goes; use your imagination. It does help to wear some thin gloves while you are punching the clove stems into the orange cause after a while your thumbs start feeling it. But take care - juicy oranges will drip a mess.
Take a whole orange and poke some holes into the rind with a toothpick or pin, and insert individual cloves into each hole—as many as you’d like! If you’re really crafty, you can be creative and decorate the fruit with different holiday designs. When done, use a ribbon and poke a hole in the middle of the orange threading the ribbon all the way to the bottom and making a knot or bow at the bottom of the fruit to secure the ribbon in place, while creating a small loop at the top of the fruit. You can even just wrap the ribbon around the orange and place it in your fruit bowl.
Hang the orange from your chandelier, or pot rack or wherever you wish around the house to permeate the air with this delectable scent. You can even hang them from your tree! Enjoy this amazing smell around the house!
Christmas cookie scentTo create a sweet, oven-baked scent without baking, combine handfuls of cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg and half of a vanilla bean into a pot and simmer in water.
This year, I also made some holiday oils, where Ii combined the above spices in olive oil and let them simmer on the stove all day long and sniffed their aroma in the house. Some of the oil I bottled and gave as gifts to friends to use at their home. It makes a beautiful presentation and smells delicious!
Christmas spirit spray
For me Christmas is so much about the smells around the house. In this spritzer take your favorite essential oils to create what is meaningful to you. The following combination is something that we enjoy around our house and continues creating sweet memories. Orange, Cinnamon, and Fir or Pine makes create a perfect blend of holiday spirit! Find a beautiful glass spritzer jar that you may have laying around (avoid plastic spritzer bottles as the essential oil will disintegrate the plastic) pour in a dilution of 1:5 alcohol and distilled water (vodka or ever clear will work) and add drops of essential oil until it pleases your senses. Less is more, so start with a few drops and add on as you need to. A good starting point is 4 drops of orange oil, 3 drops of cinnamon, 3 drops of pine or fir. Mix well by shaking the bottle and spritz around the house as often as you'd like. Enjoy!
I wish you and your family a wonderful Holiday Season, filled with sweet memories around your loved ones.