Editor's Desk - Receiving the Gift of Christmas

It’s said that smell is one of the most powerful memory triggers, meaning when you smell something that you’ve smelled often before, it can reconnect you with those past instances. Smell isn’t the only sense that has this capability, of course – when we see a familiar it can evoke distant memories, or when we touch a favorite item, it can return us to an earlier time.

The Christmas holiday season is a feast of nostalgia, deftly triggering each of the senses of memory to remind us of times past. In my case, the smell of the balsam pine, whether of the ceremonial tree or hung as a wreath, reminds me of how, at 5 years old, I was “helping” my father make wreaths in the backroom of our first home in Maine. The flashing lights dancing on the snow – of which there are many in the community this year – are each reminiscent of decades of earlier scenes signaling that this is the time of year for festive cheer.

In terms of touch and how it reminds us of yesteryear, every ornament we hang is a potential sentimental experience that can evoke memories of those we have shared our lives with. Holding it in our hands once again, we are reminded of our enduring connection with our loved ones.

Like any other time of year, Christmas – or whatever you may prefer to call it – is indeed a gift for those who choose to receive it. 


Lura Jackson