The leaves have all but vanished from the trees and now decorate the ground, not yet hidden by forthcoming snowfalls. And with the temperatures frequently dipping well below freezing at night, the time has come to add simple but significant touches of the fall and winter holiday season to the home.
I was reminded of the comforting fragrance of simmering spices during my recent visit to my parents home in Wallowa County when I would awake each morning and the scent from the wood cook stove as my mother had warmed up in a cast-iron saucepan three simple, yet oh so lovely ingredients that connote fall and the winter holidays: oranges, cloves and cinnamon.
Upon enjoying a full and long weekend at home, yesterday I put on my stovetop a saucepan filled halfway with water (about 3-4 cups), two slices of an orange, three cinnamon sticks and about 7-10 whole cloves. Upon bringing it to a boil, I then reduced it to simmer for the next two hours, and the house began to smell like the holidays. To extend the duration, simply add more water as the water begins to evaporate (don’t forget to turn the stove off when finished – setting a timer is a good idea). Even upon opening the door to the yard, the scent would escape for a moment and fill my outdoor work area with the lovely scent as well.
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Year-round I do my best to have a wreath on my door. Each of us has our own associations with why we choose the wreaths we choose, whether secular or religious, the warm welcome and aesthetic charm adds a signature touch to the front of our homes.
As luck would have it, if you are looking for a fresh wreath, a stunningly beautiful wreath whether for you or to be given as a gift (I must admit to receive such a gift would be a lovely gesture, especially if the meaning behind the type of wreath aligns with the message the giver would like to express and wish to the receiver), Williams-Sonoma is offering 20% off their wreaths of all types when you use the promo code FRIENDS. (the sale runs through November 13th and includes free shipping)
A list of few types of wreaths and what they symbolize:
- Holly = protection, victory and good luck.
- Pine and Pinecones = good health and protection
- Fir = Strength, friendship, connection, memory and immortality
- Bay leaves = prosperity, honor, victory and fame
What I particularly appreciate about Williams-Sonoma’s fresh wreaths is that you can select the date you would like it delivered, which again makes a perfect gift to send at a particular time whether before Thanksgiving or during December, etc., but also for ourselves should we purchase one, to ensure the wreath looks its best during the holiday we would like it to adorn our doors or windows.
I have chosen a few that caught my eye, but be sure to check out all of W-S’s wreaths here.
~SHOP THE WREATHS (plus a few more not shown above) BELOW:
Wishing you a lovely start to the holiday season. May you stay warm (if it chilly where you call home), may you cultivate lovely memories to treasure and may each day be savored at its preferred pace and rhythm.
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8 thoughts on “The Sights & Scents of the Start to the Holiday Season (and a sale not to miss!)”
What a lovely idea, Shannon! I will definitely try this. I can already smell the comfort.
I do think you’ll enjoy! And feel free to add the spices you most enjoy. Some have added apples and cranberries instead or as well. 🙂
I too love to simmer oranges and cinnamon on the stove during this time, as my mother and her mother also did. Aromas are such a powerful, ( and in this case-delicious!), trigger for memories, aren’t they? Yay, time to get our “cozy” on!!
Those wreaths are gorgeous. I usually try to create my own from “found” material around the yard and the herb pots, mixed with dried fruit. And once I’m done admiring them on my doors, they are hung on the feeders for the birds and squirrels, with added yummies 🙂
Great idea for the wreaths. Love it! Thank you very much for sharing Rona. 🙂
This looks so cozy. I will need to try this sometime soon. I love the snow there too, it’s always so pretty paired with the colorful leaves of fall.
Thank you for stopping by Katie. 🙂
I have already jotted down the things I would like to try from your list. I am especially eager to try the orange slices, cloves and cinnamon. Thanks, Shannon, for the wonderful ideas to incorporate into our homes.
Georgia, my pleasure! I do hope you enjoy. ?