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Advent 2018 – Friday, December 14

I’m sure I could come up with a list of at least 25 of my favorite smells at Christmas! But the one that triggers joy and brings a smile to my face is the scent of citrus, or to be more specific, the scent of GIANT oranges!

As a child, we were lucky to be able to spend time with our Grandparents who lived close to each other in the Midwest. One Grandfather was a Minister, and Christmas was one of his favorite times to preach. We always stayed with them on Christmas Eve to attend candlelight services together as a family.

My Grandmother would leave for church separate from the rest of us, staying back to fill our Christmas stockings (this as her way of playing Santa). We received all kinds of practical items… a comb, toothbrush & toothpaste, small packages of toiletries, a pair of socks, maybe some Hershey Kisses, etc. But the best and most unique item was always a giant, fragrant, juicy, sweet orange. Once we awoke the next morning, we knew that it was CHRISTMAS!!!! We could smell the aroma of the oranges! Combine that smell with the scent of fresh cut pine, a steaming cup of cocoa, and cinnamon toast for breakfast… what joy, life was simple, life was good!

Reminiscing about Christmas traditions with my Great Aunt, she explained the significance of the oranges. Growing up during the Depression money was tight and they were only able to purchase certain fruits. Most were scarce and quite costly! In their stockings were placed the giant, fragrant, juicy, sweet oranges (along with practical items). The pleasant citrus aroma filled the damp and cold air, they knew it was CHRISTMAS! A simple, fragrant and refreshing treat in the dark of winter.

The Advent season celebrates Christ’s simple birth in a manger, bringing us joy and refreshing our souls in the midst of darkness. A promise of abundant life in him—experienced with all our senses! Perhaps this Christmas we can offer others the pleasing aroma of Christ, sharing the simple gift of salvation and a good life!

2 Corinthians 2:15, “For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.”

Psalm 103:5, “He satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.”

Cindi McDonald, elder