Nostalgia

As the crinkly crackle of autumn fades into a windy whisper of winter, my thoughts drift back to my childhood. This precise time of year, more than any other, makes me crave for the carefree comfort of youth. The holidays are still wrought with memories and emotion for me and probably will be for some time. A few weeks ago, the first snowfall in my area actually brought tears to my eyes. The change of seasons reminding me of time passing, another season gone and a new one beginning with the absence of a loved one on my mind.

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An advent calendar is a joyous bit of nostalgia to herald the Christmas season

For these reasons, I plan to drench myself in nostalgia this Christmas. Why fight it when it’s better to embrace it? I can’t turn back the clock, no one can, but I can surround myself with comforting rituals and simple pleasures this season. Time passes by so quickly, especially during the hurried holidays.

My mantra: I will slow down. I will spend meaningful time with my hard-working family and busy friends. I will take care of myself and do something good for those less fortunate than I am. I will remember…

Childhood comforts:

It started this week. Tuning in to catch the kiddie Christmas specials that I’ve passed on in recent years because I’ve been busy or working. How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer thus far, with A Charlie Brown Christmas coming up tonight. From the library, I’ve just ordered complete television seasons of shows I loved in my youth- Family Ties and Eight is Enough-shows that celebrated family and made me laugh. (Eight is Enough was a little before my time, but I must have enjoyed watching the re-runs) More modern feel-good TV, for me, would be The Office or Parks and Recreation. I’ll see how long this mid-west winter gets before I start binging past seasons of those too.

Nostalgia has become big business for my generation, in my late 30s, and those around my age recently. It seems as if every toy that was popular when I was growing up is having a renaissance moment. Nintendo’s reboot of the classic NES game system selling out in minutes demonstrates how powerful the lure of reliving one’s childhood can be. I’ve scoffed at the remakes of beloved 80’s classics like Ghostbusters and other commercial attempts at cashing in on my nostalgia. However, I do understand that yearning to relive the past and reconnect with my inner child. I’d be soundly happy playing board games and completing jigsaw puzzles all my winter days. Maybe building a snowman or two.

Fragrant pleasures:

Bath and Body Work’s even got into the nostalgia game in recent years when it re-released favorite body care from the 1990s in it’s “Flashback Fragrance” campaign. Although I have the fondest memories of spritzing on Cucumber Melon mist, my beauty tastes have matured to the point that I couldn’t oblige in buying any. But I understand how powerfully linked scent and memory can be.

The Christmas scents that I connect to fond remembrances of my past are; hot cocoa with melty marshmallows, soggy woolen mittens from playing in the snow draped over the heater to dry, my grandma’s pumpkin pie and nutty kolachi, a colorful jar of peppermints, butterscotch and Christmas candies at my other grandma’s house and the unforgettable incense wafting through the church pews at midnight mass. 

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The not-so-Christmasey candles I’ve bought recently. We never had a live tree growing up, so I can’t reminisce over that fresh balsam smell, but I’ve grown to love it. One of my most uplifting Christmas scents to light.

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This retro Santa tray was a happy recent Target find.

I’ve refrained from purchasing any of Yankee’s new Festive candles for the first time in years. Those redesigned labels weren’t helping their cause. Thankfully, I spied a few holiday treasure tarts before they were gone. Some of these classic scents haven’t been released as wax tarts in years. My nostalgic inner child couldn’t resist.

Which scents conjure up your childhood Christmases? Are they able to be recreated? Any nostalgic activities that you long for this time of year?

-jaybird

 

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6 thoughts on “Nostalgia

  1. Beautifully written. I also remember the nostalgia of the ole Cucumber Melon mist from BBW. I was in the Dollar Tree last night and was able to find older revived games such as Chutes and Ladders, chessboards, Hungry Hungry Hippos and many others. So it was fun to have those options from the past plus they had several awesome puzzles like Norman Rockwell paintings. You should check it out!

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  2. How beautiful. I love the nostalgia of this season too. Just looking at old ornaments or Christmas decorations that have been passed down make me all warm and fuzzy. Making Magic Fudge from the back of Marshmallow Fluff jar or cooking hot cocoa on the stove. I love your advent calendar and your choice of BBW candles. I sniffed Wine Cellar while I was in line to buy my candles yesterday and I ALMOST traded it out. But didn’t. So now I will have it in the back of my mind during SAS. Pretty please review it. ❤

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    1. I think I’m the only person in America who didn’t get any candles on candle day. I had a plan to pick up another Wine Cellar, using a proxy shopper. When she went out later in the day to get some, the lines were long and Wine Cellar was gone. I have a person on my Christmas list that I’ve decided to give my Wine Cellar to (it’s perfect for her), so I probably won’t burn my own unless I get lucky w/SAS.

      I adore family ornaments and decorations that are passed down. I have some my husband made with his own little hands and a few from my childhood tree, but sadly none that go farther back than that. I wish I knew what happened to my grandma’s lovely set of the 12 days of Christmas bulbs…
      That fudge does sound magical, I will look for the jar when I go grocery shopping. Thanks for stopping by, looking forward to your candle day reviews:)

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  3. You have the right idea, deliberately slowing down, looking around a bit. I found that that’s what the Fall Fun Series prompted me to do more than I have in years past, and I actually did a lot of stuff that I haven’t in the last couple of years. It was great! So sometimes if you have a bit of a plan in mind, that can help keep things organized.

    But I really find that more than any other season, the winter holidays just prompt this kind of mania in people that can really rub off on you after a while – you know, that feeling that even though Christmas is 20 days away and you’ve got A, B and C well in hand, you’re TOTALLY BEHIND SCHEDULE AND THERE’S SO MUCH TO DO AND WE HAVE TO DO IT NOW!!! I started feeling it this week, and I hate that feeling! To slowing down a bit!

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    1. The FF series had the same effect on me. I kept mentioning the fall colors to people this year, but I think that because of the series, I starting paying better attention. I’ve been guilty of Christmania in the past and I’m making an effort not to get caught up in the crazy this time. It helps that I was on top of present buying with good ideas and early ordering for most of my list. Here’s to the next 20 days of slowing down and enjoying the season, before we know it, it will all be over. Happy Holidays to you!

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