“Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle All The Wayyyy Oh What Fun It Is To Ride On A One Horse Open Sleigh, HEY!!!”
Ahhhhh!!!! Christmas!!! Christmas and its’ smell of pine, cinnamon, orange peel, peppermint, slow cooked ham, and hot coco drinks…all mixed together swirling in the air…Close your eyes for a bit. SNIIIIIFFFFFFFF!!!!! They’re all of the scents our past tradition has declared as officially marking the holiday season.
Anyways, everyone is either wearing their favorite sweaters, matching them delightfully with their favorite boots, accessorizing with their cutest hats and topping off their look with a nice, fluffy scarf. Me? Not so much…at least not this time. (Wow, I’m actually sounding a bit like a grinch). This year, I’m celebrating in the Caribbean. A place that to me, has no resemblance to the traditional Christmas experience at all (albeit a surfing santa ha! and decorated palm trees). Geographically speaking, even if I were visiting the North Pole, this year will be like every other year. In the sense that I miss out on the “FULL” Christmas five sensory experience. I’m talking about its amazing lights, cold temperature, traditional foods, holiday carols and smells. I only experience 4/5 of these, and you know which one I’m missing.
What is Christmas then? What does Christmas mean to us with anosmia? Is it like that one picture of a little kid standing outside in the snow, staring into somebody’s window watching a family celebrating inside showing off their fortunate life? NO! Not at all! We’re inside the house too! (probably drinking the egg nog tee hee! and shaking our wrapped presents around, trying to guess what they ohhhh could be?). We are also enjoying the warmth, laughter and love.
I love Christmas! Christmas is about reconnecting. It’s about chatting it up, mingling, cuddling up with our loved ones. It’s about reminding our family members (for the seventh year in a row) that we can’t smell:
AUNT HELEN: “SWEETIE, CAN YOU TELL ME IF THIS MILK IS STILL GOOD?” I’M BAKING YOUR FAVORITE MUFFINS.”
ME: “AUNT HELEN, I CAN’T SMELL.”
AUNT HELEN: (Gasp!) “WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU CAN’T SMELL?” “HAVE YOU GOTTEN CHECKED?”
It’s about interpreting the moment OUR way. We are really lucky we can’t smell if our sis Janice burned the main dish. If our little nephew Johnny wants a hug but he didn’t shower-for-a-week-straight-because-the-temperatures-were-too-cold-and-he-could-get-sick (Come here! Give me bear hug!) Or when Uncle Marty calls us over and he’s wearing his cheap (and I mean cheap!) cologne. Thankfully, we still get to enjoy the awesome feelings that come from being with family and friends. BONUS: We’re the only ones who can focus and keep a conversation with our overly excited cousin who has full on beer breath ha ha.
Move over Rudolph! For me, this is being the real Christmas MVP.
To those fortunate with anosmia, anosmia is a blessing and blessings are for those who are grateful enough to accept them! Thank you for reading.