I took my kids shopping, and as soon as we entered the aroma of cinnamon filled the air. I paused, inhaled and was immediately content. Any stress or frustration was forgotten. Cinnamon pinecones are the first signal of the holiday season. They bring to mind hot cocoa, fires, scarves, Douglass Firs, and friends and family near and far. Every year I buy them, every year my children point them out, smell them, and smile knowing these are some of Mommy’s favorite things. It will stay with them years from now, when they are grown up with children of their own, they will walk into a room and the smell of cinnamon will give them pause. They will stop in their tracks, smile fondly at this memory of their mother, the holidays of their youth, and cinnamon.
I know this all too well because growing up every year my mother unwrapped the Christmas decorations, when she got to the figurine of Santa kneeling over baby Jesus in the Manger she would say it was her favorite; it was the representation of Christmas. The joy of presents and innocence of youth all bowing before the true reason for the season - the birth of baby Jesus. My mother died when I was a teenager, but when I walk into a room with a similar figurine I stop, my heart skips a beat, and I feel wrapped in her arms once again, even though I have spent half of my life without her.
This is one of the things I love about the holidays, they bring back our childhood, they evoke memories of loved ones, and help us connect with and form lasting bonds with our children. These are bonds that will last their whole life, so even when we aren’t there we are.