Years ago, I found a recipe for simmering scents that bring a sense of the holidays to our home. I made a batch recently. I love that the ingredients are all-natural and incorporate my favorite holiday smells. There are no exact measures on this for the ingredients. If that makes you uneasy, the photos will help. Once you get more adventurous, play around with various amounts of this or that and see what scent gets the emphasis.
Add the following ingredients to a small saucepan or pot:
Rosemary sprigs (I cut some from our backyard plant)
Vanilla (a few drops)
I also add:
Cranberries (I toss in a handful mostly for color)
I often turn the burner off, and the smell continues to waft as the brew cools down. Then I don’t worry about it burning dry. I use the same mix for a few days, just adding water and reheating it.
Turn on some holiday music and fill you home with the sounds and smells that can bring simple joy, even in these uncertain days.
Labor Day is here. We’ve watched time pass for nearly six months, along with other holidays including St. Patrick’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, and now Labor Day. In my area of the country, we are still restricted since the transmission rate remains too high. I was reflecting back to when this started in March. I assumed we’d miss out on one or possibly two holidays. I cannot believe we are now at Labor Day without much change.
My memories of holidays and celebrations from previous years and familiar traditions fill my 2020 heart. That will have to do. Up until this pandemic, I held to the expectation that these annual holidays would always be enjoyed in familiar ways. Now I don’t know what to think, but I hope and pray we don’t hit another spike in a few weeks following this weekend. Being cautious and careful now will help so much, and move us off the state watch list sooner rather than later.
On top of the pandemic this Labor Day weekend, we are in a season of conflict and conspiracy surrounding so much of our American life. I never imagined there would even be such disagreement on the values so key to who we are as Americans. Concepts of freedom, liberty, and justice don’t just decorate a holiday plate anymore. They are often clouded by debate that I never imagined.
Hopefully we will dodge another holiday weekend transmission spike and do better than we did following Memorial Day weekend and the Fourth of July weekend. Hopefully we will find ways to find unity in all the conflict. Sometimes it feels like siblings are fighting, breaking the house rules, we all get grounded for it, and have to stay home longer.
With Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas up next, I make no claims to know what to expect, and cling to hopes that at least some of the favorite elements can still be a part of those seasons. Plus, we have an important election in that timeframe too. It will be an interesting ride all the way through to New Year’s Eve for sure.
In the meantime, let’s relax, make the most of it, and be grateful for the blessings we do have buried in the challenges. Not much changes for us. We usually spend the weekend at home working on projects and then grill good food. Only the heat is slowing down those activities.
I look forward to raising a glass in a toast to a happier 2021! And cheers to a happy Labor Day for you! Tell me your Labor Day plans and what is different this year for you.
Stay patient, my friends.
Additional Note: Please continue to keep others in your thoughts and prayers, volunteer if you can, and continue to financially and on social media support organizations equipped to address the needs, for those among us who…
Are battling or impacted by all the acres of wild fires
Do not have shelter
Do not have access to air conditioning
Are serving those with CoVid, either family or professionals
Are struggling with food insecurity
Are looking for work
Need health care
Live in an abusive home situation
Feel isolated, anxious, and/or depressed
Experience fear due to disparity in treatment by those who are in power