Early childhood memories are strongly bound to scents. And festive occasions like Christmas even more so. In German and Dutch Christmas baking, a lot of spices are used. Cinnamon, cloves, kardamon and nutmeg - combined they make a powerful mix of scents. I have a cookie recipe which my younger son absolutely loves but I only make them at Christmas time in order to keep them special!! Another powerfully evocative smell for me are beeswax candles. We used to have a wreath with four candles which would be lit on Sunday afternoons, when we would have coffee and cookies and sing Christmas carols. The tree would only be lit on Christmas eve - again with precious beeswax candles which smell so sweetly and make me feel 'feierlich'! Now there is a German term thats hard to translate! It means: solumn, festive - a mixture of that really.
Your article certainly appealed to my scentimental side - thank you!
Thank you so much for these incredible words. The traditions you have sound absolutely wonderful. I love the German term you use and I can appreciate the nature of a mixture of solemnity and festivity. That is such a perfect word to describe the plethora of emotions one feels this time of year. I thank YOU for that. :)
I wish you and yours an absolutely wonderful holiday season.