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Advent 2018 – Monday, December 10

Cinnamon. Evergreen. Warm sugar cookies. Eggnog.

We’re familiar with the seasonal smells of the Christmas holiday. It has become commonplace to walk into the local grocery store and experience each scent before we even reach the produce. I find that each year the cinnamon sticks sneak their way into stores earlier and earlier symbolizing the season to come. These smells play a crucial role in our holiday experience eliciting an emotional response to the season.

Culturally we have decided that the smells of the Advent season should give us the “warm fuzzies” when we experience them. We buy hand soaps, scented plug-ins and candles to create this effect in our home. This season it struck me how different these quintessential Christmas smells are from the smells of Jesus’ birth. His birth in a manger. His birth in a manger full of animals. (I will allow your imagination to take over here). The ‘warm-fuzzy’ smells of Christmas remind us of family time together, gift opening, holiday parties, but how often do these smells make us think of Jesus, his lowly birth and the *actual* smells of that Christmas night?

The next time you take a whiff of an evergreen wreath or a stick of cinnamon, take a moment to remember how blessed we are that Jesus Christ was born.

Julie Andrews, children’s ministry director