On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, greens for the trimming, cookies a-baking ... five golden rules ... "You're Invited!" cards, gifts for my friends, ways to spread the love and a little time reserved just for me.
It wasn’t until Christmas break from my first year of college that I realized the importance of trimming – and no, I’m not referring to losing my freshman 15.
With the first semester of classes over, and my eyesight slightly worse for wear, I was planning to spend the first half of my break sleeping. Sure I wanted to decorate the tree and bake a few dozen cookies, but was I in the “Christmas mood”? Not really.
Call it a Christmas miracle, but I found the spirit of the season somewhere between dragging my laundry bags up the driveway and my home's doorstep. There, in the center of our door, was the shiniest wreath this side of Vegas.
That was my first encounter with "trimming."
The trimming continued inside my childhood home. The succulent scents of vanilla and cinnamon filled the air, while soft carols on CD filled the background. Red and green tea lights flickered in the living room fireplace, while fresh greens and gold stars covered the mantelpiece above. Our Christmas tree was doused in shimmering silver tinsel. An Advent calendar (and its chocolate treasures) awaited me on the holly-covered kitchen table.
This is trimming my friends. It's the little centerpieces, smells, sounds and finishing touches that you and your family associate with Christmas.
So with only six days left to Christmas, it's time to get trimming.
Candle or aeorsol spray, pick up the scent, or scents that say Christmas to you. Be it cinnamon, vanilla, evergreen, pumpkin or ocean breeze (you lucky snowbirds), you can find these candles and sprays at box stores like ACO Hardware, CVS, Walgreens and Target, or speciality shops like Yankee Candle and Hallmark.
Lots of stores are trying to get rid of their stock pre-Christmas, so you can usually find wreaths, evergreen boughs and even a few small trees pretty cheap this week. The bigger nurseries like Ray Wiegand's and English Gardens usually have more to get rid of, but grocery stores carry fresh greens, too.
You could go out and buy a holiday centerpiece for $75, or you could use what you have around the house or in your backyard. A few brightly colored globe ornaments, a large glass vase and whatever greenery you happen to have growing around your home (pine cones, holly, evergreen boughs, even sticks) can easily be made into a centerpiece. Layer your items in the vase and strategically place a few candles around said vase ... voila! Martha Stewart style.
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