Welcome to my first ever sensory blog post! I always felt fall was my favorite season of the year. However, winter is upon us, and I realize all that I ever loved about fall is still applicable. If I am to be a true advice blogger, I’d better give some advice and not just write about me. Here is my advice: get out of the house, and here is why you should.
What You’ll Smell
Everywhere one goes, the scents are remarkable. I once heard realtors try to get home sellers to bake cookies before prospective buyers arrive just so that the scent of vanilla would permeate the house. In December, vanilla-scented candles are burning. The smell is everywhere, so no cookie baking is needed.
In my home, my daughters and I drink vanilla-chai tea. Since the winter chill has arrived, the smells of hot coffee fill the air as well. I say smells since there are so many types. Pumpkin coffee, still around from fall, and every variety of rich aromas fill the air. As long as it’s rich, it’s around in December.
What You’ll Touch
Flannel has always been a popular material in December since it’s warm to wear as the weather chills. My Yearbook students do a yearly fashion column, and flannel is classic–it’s always being worn. It never goes out of style. The smooth feel of leather and faux and real fur are what you’ll feel.
In my home in December, my little girl would hold the scotch tape as I would wrap presents which is a happy holiday memory for me. She didn’t actually hold the tape–she wore it. While I would cut and measure the size of the wrapping paper, Rachel would wear the scotch tape I would be using on her fingers. We would call them “claws”. Talk about multi-tasking! Routine tasks like gift wrapping became a time of bonding as we played a game that encouraged creativity and made holiday memories together. (For more ideas like this see How to Avoid Holiday Burnout http://wp.me/p5jxvv-62.)
What You’ll Taste
On Thanksgiving, which technically isn’t in December, the Marie Callender pie company bakes like an astronomical amount of pumpkin pies. They actually told me the count when I went to pick up my four pies this past Thanksgiving (all chocolate satin). I don’t remember the count (my brain and numbers have an incompatibility,) but it was so high everyone in my family was impressed, and I was too.
The best taste of December–get ready for it–is Hickory Farms mints. You ask, “Why not taste their mints all year round?” Each December Hickory Farms brings a cart to my mall and many other malls, and the vendors give out free samples of their mints. They melt, the mints seem to actually melt in your mouth! At least they do mine.
What You’ll Hear
It should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway–catchy holiday tunes. I think they’re all catchy. They’re not even all religious in nature for those atheists and agnostics out there. Dean Martin’s “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” is a catchy song! “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” (okay, I like Dean Martin) was redone in Elf, Glee, and I even heard it sung recently on Saturday Night Live. So many great songs are heard everywhere at this time of year. We can even tap the Broadway musical genre for examples like “We Need a Little Christmas” from Mame. The song is so catchy that it was also redone on Glee. Well, maybe they’re not all catchy. “Silent Night, Holy Night,” has a beautiful melody even if it isn’t upbeat. One of the many downsides to the holidays ending is that stores stop playing holiday music.
There is another special sound you will hear in December. People at work who never talk during the year wish each other “happy holidays” and “Merry Christmas” and “Happy New Year”. Even though people are all busier getting ready for the holidays in addition to doing their daily obligations, people seem to have bought in to the “be kind to your fellow-man” theme that Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol tries to convey, at least in December.
What You’ll See
Carolers dressed in Victorian clothing and party-goers dressed in Christmas red are just a few of the sights one sees in December. Lights are everywhere. During the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, which often occurs in December, eight lights fill a menorah. Christmas lights are on the roofs of homes. The lights are silver, green, gold, and I’ve even seen them in blue, a color usually associated with Hanukkah.
Also, I love the fashion and always have at this time of year. That’s why I start change-of-season clothes buying in August. Stores start selling clothes for cool weather then. Examples are sweatshirts with hoods, sweatshirts without hoods, plaid, and denim are all sights I never tire of seeing–or wearing.
My favorite fashion trend to wear in cold weather has to do with boots. Boots that go up to the knee, boots that lace, Uggs, Bearclaws that feel like Uggs (so soft), and boots that can be turned over to see the print inside for versatility are all examples of boots that I own. Imagine all the types of boots I don’t own! Someone once saw me in sandals in the late spring and exclaimed she thought all I ever wore on my feet were boots! She’s practically right.
At the end of the musical The Music Man Marianne says to the angry crowd that everyone should like con artist Harold Hill since he got them out of their houses. There were places to go and people to see since everyone was out. One last sight you’ll see in December–like in The Music Man‘s River City, Iowa–everyone is out, and you should be too.
Readers, do you agree with me that December is the best month? If not, what is your favorite month and why? I look forward to your views.