Scent of Christmas

"I remember, I remember
How my childhood fleeted by, —
The mirth of its December,
And the warmth of its July."
WHEN dusk closed in it would be Christmas eve. All day I had three points — a chair beside the kitchen table, a lookout melted through the frost on the front window, and the big sitting-room fireplace. All the perfumes of Araby floated from our kitchen that day. There was that delicious smell of baking flour from big snowy loaves of bread, light biscuit, golden coffee cake, and cinnamon rolls dripping a waxy mixture of sugar, butter, and spice, much better than the finest butterscotch ever brought from the city. There was the tempting odour of boiling ham and baking pies. The air was filled with the smell of more herbs and spices than I knew the names of, that went into mincemeat, fruit cake, plum pudding, and pies. There was a teasing fragrance in the spiced vinegar heating for pickles, a reminder of winesap and rambo in the boiling cider, while the newly opened bottles of grape juice filled the house with the tang of Concord and muscadine. It seemed to me I never got nicely fixed where I could take a sly dip in the cake dough or snipe a fat raisin from the mincemeat but Candace would say: "Don't you suppose the backlog is halfway down the lane?"
Laddie: A True Blue Story
 By Gene Stratton-Porter

I WONDER how many of my little readers have read that most tender and touching of all the Christmas stories which Charles Dickens wrote to please the. whole world,the one. in which Tiny Tim and the rest of the Cratchitt family appear? I hope they have not forgotten Mrs. Cralchitt's famous pudding, brought on at the end of the feast, with a sprig of holly in tho top, and such a delightful mingling of odors about it, that the very smell was enough to make the eyes water with relish before a slice was cut.
One of the chief charms of Christmas cooking is, in my opinion, its fragrance. Such whiffs and wafts of spice and fruit, such scents of linking and stewing, such an aroma as steals from tho kitchen through the entire house is perfectly captivating to all who like good cheer.
Harper's Round Table, Volume 14

The room was so full of light and warmth and evergreen fragrance that, spacious as it was, it seemed bursting with it all. At first it was a daze of brilliance—a dazzle of light. But at last one saw that the centre of it all, the luminous source of the rays of light and color and fragrance, was the magical tree that stood in the heart of it. Finely symmetrical, from its pointed apex to its wide-spreading lowest boughs, not unlike a heart in shape, it existed only to be decked with countless messages of joy. Every twig had its buoyantly upraised burden of toy or tinsel or chain or candle. Yet its green recesses seemed to promise secret troves of treasure, more precious than any displayed. A mortal tree it was, grown in a familiar, near-by forest. decked by the hands they knew. Yet, for one enchanted instant, it seemed to the eyes of the family gathered there to be no mere thing of spiralled boughs and clustered needles. Instead, it was the heart of love made conscious, kindled on
every hearth in the awakened land—glowing—palpitating—launching forth its sacred fire of adoration.Harper's Monthly Magazine, Volume 122

Adrian Berridge paused on the threshold, as was his wont, with closed eyes and dilated nostrils, enjoying the aroma of complex freshness which the dining-room had at this hour. Pathetically a creature of habit, he liked to savour the various scents, sweet or acrid, that went to symbolise for him the time and the place. Here were the immediate scents of dry toast, of China tea of napery fresh from the wash, together with that vague, super-subtle scent which boiled eggs give out through their unbroken shells. And as a permanent base to these there was the scent of much-polished Chippendale, and of bees'-waxed parquet, and of Persian rugs. To-day, moreover, crowning the composition, there was the delicate pungency of the holly that topped the Queen Anne mirror and the Mantegna prints.
A Christmas Garland
 By Sir Max Beerbohm

When Our Mother was no older than Secunda, if indeed, she was as old—children seem to grow more childish with every decade-she was given a thrillingly important part in a Christmas operetta which took place in a Sunday-school room. Our Mother and another musical infant, robed in clean, silvery nightgowns, kneeled decorously at the knees of a pretend mother—she was really a young lady who had never had any children and had not the remotest idea how to get them into the bed when they had finished their prayer—and sang “Now I lay me” in six-eight time. When the other infant sang wrong, Our Mother kicked her. Then they pretended to go to sleep, and it grew dark; finally, a great hairy Santa Claus came in, and sang in a loud bass voice, and picked them up out of the bed, and his beard tickled. There was, somehow, connected with this man a little dark-blue saucer, with two segments of a very fat Christmas candycane stuck together in it; and now, after all these years, each one of four seasons, with all their months and days and hours, if on a darkened stage, in a tense hush, a large man with a beard ever sings in a bass voice, across the generation that stretches between that nightgowned imp and Our Mother there blows a faint, far scent of peppermint, and somewhere inside her brain she is aware that the odor comes from two fat segments of striped candy-cane reposing in a little dark-blue saucer!
The Delineator, Volume 89
 edited by R. S. O'Loughlin, H. F. Montgomery, Charles Dwyer
 
"I did not come home for that, grandmamma. I was homesick for the Christmas-tree,—a Christmas in the sitting-room down-stairs. I am tired of the confectionery figures and masterpieces of bookbinding which Aunt Elise buys and hangs on the tree with no pains at all. I want to spend one of those preparatory evenings, when it is snowing and storming outside, and within the warm room the nuts are rattling upon the table, the gold-leaf is flying about, and the fragrance of the home-made cookies, and of all kinds of gingerbread monsters, is coming through the keyhole and cracks of the kitchen-door. I cannot, to be sure, have the finest sight of all,—Aunt Sophie's covered work-basket, disclosing some fragment now and then of a gorgeous doll's toilette, and, unfortunately, I have outgrown the picture-books. But I insist upon Biirbe's baking for me, as she always used to do, a gingerbread horseman."
The Lady with the Rubies: A Novel
 By Eugenie Marlitt
 
If upon Christmas morning, something was missed by the four Corners, it was a time of wonder and delight to Daniella. Never in all her after life did she forget the odor of the burning candles mixed with the fragrance of the fir tree and the sweet, appetizing, spicy smell of the gingerbread man, the nutty candies and the orange she found in her stocking. Never did she forget how they all stood around the tree in the semi-darkened room whose only light came from the candles, and sang, "Hark the herald angels sing."
The Four Corners
 By Amy Ella Blanchard
 
December Eli—T0 what shall I liken the smell of the pine needle ?
Coming down the street this morning I picked up a little branch of a pine tree from the pavement. I stripped off the needles, bruised them thoroughly in my hands, and took a long inspiration of their fragrance. It was a bit of the country transplanted to the city. It filled me with a new life. Again and again I held the handful of green to my nostrils.
Far better than the insipid sweetness of cologne is
this strong, healthy, woody, aromatic odor of the pine needle.
All day long I have kept the handful of needles on my desk, and ever and anon my mind wanders to a forest of stately trees, green in winter, and their tops moving to and fro in the wind.
The Continent, Volume 3