Christmas, like no other holiday, has the ability to stimulate all five senses! Sight, sound, smell, taste and touch all come alive with pure energy! As we celebrate the joy of the birth of our Lord, you can see each one of the senses as a gift we have been given!
Can any other time of year possible contend with the pure joy that the beauty of Christmas brings? Even the red and green traffic lights become part of the holiday wonder! Watching a child experience the thrill of a lit Christmas tree for the first time! Your home suddenly becomes enchanted with holiday displays and is an absolute treat for the eyes. As I have mentioned before, you can never indulge too much visually during the Christmas season, inside or outside of your home. So become daring and playful with decking your own halls!
Sounds make it possible to simply close your eyes and be transported into a delightful memory. It might be the sound of skates gliding across the ice on a pond, the jingle of sleigh bells from horse-drawn carriage or sleigh rides under the stars, or Christmas carols sung on neighbor's porches. You hear these sounds and you can almost feel the wind on your face as you skate, the warmth of the blanket you cuddled under on the sleigh ride, or the snowflakes in your hair while you caroled.
Bringing the sounds of the season into your home is one of the loveliest and most peaceful things you can do for yourself. Whether you are baking, wrapping packages or merely enjoying a hot chocolate, allow yourself time to enjoy some Christmas music this season. I think you will find yourself waltzing through a Wednesday!
Imagine the fragrance of a fresh Christmas tree standing outside the grocery store, begging to come live with you this season. Think of cookies baking in your oven, along with pies and cakes. Your olfactory senses go into overdrive this time of year. You can also introduce the smells of Christmas with candles and potpourri. Wonderful candles seem to be available almost anywhere, so finding them is a walk in the park. Just remember that when burning pillar candles for the first time, you need to let them burn until a pool of wax develops over the entire top of the candle and then extinguish them. For candles that drip, be mindful of where you place them so you don't damage furniture. Enlist some lovely plates or small trays to place them on to confine any melted wax. Potpourri in various scents adds one more layer of delight to your home! You can find beautiful potpourri—embellished with berries, pods, juniper sprigs, frosted pinecones and the like—and it looks incredibly elegant in a silver or crystal bowl. My favorite potpourri comes from a woman-owned company in Heber Springs, Arkansas: Aromatique. So much time and attention is spent on the luscious fragrance, plus it is pure beauty in a bowl. At the end of the season bag up the embellishments to add to next year's potpourri or add to a wreath for bit of fragrance as you pass by. A couple bits of caution that apply to any brand of potpourri: Due to the potency of the fragrant oils , keep it off wood furniture and out of serving pieces. If it drops onto wood furniture, it will literally boil and blister the wood! Be careful about placing potpourri anywhere that any type of a breeze might blow some from the bowl. Also, it's best not to put potpourri in a receptacle that might be used for food. The scented oil can permanently embed into the container and change the flavor of a food. I usually use containers reserved just for potpourri!
Page 2 of 3 - Taste!
Cakes, candies, cookies, pies and sugar plums become part of daily life for a few weeks this time of year. They are not only tasty, but a delight to behold! Why not take all of your amazing and scrumptious treats and make them part of your holiday presentation? Store them in apothecary jars, clear covered cake stands, or cake stands stacked in graduated sizes. Take your homemade cookies and candies and tie them up in cellophane bags with ribbon. Place them on the tree as ornaments or in large bowls for an easy and quick gift for that unexpected visitor who stops by! Trays are a delightful way to showcase them as well!
The softness of Santa's red velvet suit and beard are thrilling for a child to experience while sharing the big wish list! Enjoy, even, the prickles of that fresh spruce tree that has come to live in your home for the holidays! Unroll sheets of snow that become the winter covered world for your Christmas Village! The feel of a grandmother's delicate cheek and the sweet lips of a grandchild's kiss on that cheek. Almost frozen hands that are the result of a vigorous snowball battle. Take a bit of time to enjoy the feel of kneading pie dough. All of these incredible touches say "Christmas!" and should be savored!
With everything in place to tantalize all your senses, embrace and enjoy the bliss! See the exhilarating Christmas tree full of memories on every branch, hear the lilting holiday music, smell the roasting Christmas goose, take that first taste of eggnog in pewter stein, delight in the touch of the cookie dough as you roll it out with ease and most of all enjoy the warmth and love that only your family can provide…. Pure happiness! It doesn't get much better, gorgeous! Now turn on some Christmas music and walk through your home and just smile. You are one lucky person!
I had one question from a reader in regards to rugs! Her question was: "What exactly is a flying carpet"? I am sorry I did not truly address that description! Rugs do have a duty and it is to be the foundation in some parts of your room design. Therefore if you have nothing more than the coffee table in contact with the rug it becomes a "flying carpet"! For a rug to anchor parts of a room there must be several of the major furniture pieces in contact with it, hence the suggestion of: front legs on or all legs on the rug. I hope this helps you to understand a bit better! I enjoy questions and want very much to assist you with any design issue you might encounter, whether addressed in my column or not. Sharing is pure joy for me!
Page 3 of 3 - See you next week!
Jan Colvin has been a professional interior designer for over 25 years (Allied ASID). She accredits her mother Pat Robinson and Lucille Chase for her intense interest and love for design. She has taught interior design at the college level and operated her private design business since 2001. Today she spends a majority of her time completing her new book which will be available in the first quarter of 2013. After many years in the traditional interior design profession, "I found that the educational aspect is far more satisfying for me personally."
Jan welcomes questions, which will be answered in her columns. Send your questions to: email@example.com