Christmas Recipes: How to Bring the Smell of Christmas Into Your Own Home

This year I’m going to Europe for Christmas with my family, so I have only three weeks to make the most of the holiday season in New York. I can’t wait to go ice-skating in Rockefeller Center, listen to Justin Beiber’s Christmas album on repeat, and watch Love Actually multiple times a week. I’m sure my roommate is totally psyched about all of these things too.

The first thing on my holiday to-do list is to get a Christmas tree. I love Christmas trees. They’re attractive, they smell good, and they are surrounded by presents, which are three of my favorite qualities! (In trees and in people.) Obviously, I can’t fit a giant tree in my apartment, but even a small one makes the place feel festive and helps me forget how little closet space I have.

Christmas tree shopping has always been one of my favorite holiday activities. At least it was until last year’s “incident.” On December 4, 2011, at 1 p.m., my boyfriend Logan, and I went to pick out our tree. It was a gray Sunday and I was hungover, so it is fair to say that I wasn’t winning any beauty contests. I was also dressed “casually” and wearing an oversized down coat, but I didn’t think this would matter since we were only going around the corner. I was wrong.

I chose the best looking miniature tree on the block and stood next to it while Logan went to pay the vendor. During the time that he was gone, several people approached me and made various comments about the trees. “Good looking trees this year!” Yes, they were nice. “We’re looking for a tree that comes with a stand.” Okay, good for you. I was slightly confused as to why people would be offering these friendly, yet unsolicited remarks about the trees. It wasn’t until a Russian woman looked at me frostily, pointed at a tree and demanded, “How much?” that it dawned on me: people thought that I worked there. At the Christmas tree stand. Selling Christmas trees.

I like to think that I project an image that says “future celebrity,” “accomplished writer,” or at the very least, “I have Twitter followers, bitch.” Therefore, the fact that I seemed to be projecting “part-time Christmas tree vendor” was deeply unsettling. I went home immediately to re-evaluate my outfit (and my life). Logan carried the tree.            

When I reminded my boyfriend of this traumatic event yesterday, he started cracking up and replied, “That was amazing! Didn’t you start crying?” (Thanks, Logan.) No, I did not start crying. That would be a tad melodramatic, but you better believe I’m wearing black tie when we go to get a tree this year. My ego can’t take another blow like that.

Anyhoo, black tie Christmas tree shopping will take place tomorrow followed by our own holiday kick-off party. There will be tree trimming, festive snacks, and Christmas music. (I will then get Logan drunk and trick him into telling me what he got me for Christmas.) There will also be a “Pot of Christmas” on the stove.

This stuff is liquid gold, my friends. I promise that you’ve never smelled something so warm, comforting, and delicious. Whether you’re having a party or hanging out solo, this is guaranteed to lift your spirits. So, put a Pot of Christmas on to simmer, crank the Mariah Carey holiday Pandora, and get pumped about the holiday season. It’s going to be a wild one.

Pot of Christmas: (Makes 1 pot) 

Ingredients:

Peel of 2 large oranges
6 whole cinnamon sticks
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp nutmeg
2 tbsp allspice
5 whole cloves, smashed (optional)
Water
 

Preparing you Pot of Christmas:

-Put all of your ingredients in a medium pot. 

-Add water to cover (about 4 cups) and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower to a simmer and enjoy the Christmas smell! Be sure to add more water periodically since it will evaporate. Duh.

*NOTE: The purpose of the Pot of Christmas is to make your space smell delicious. It is not meant to be consumed. I’m sure you knew this, but I wanted to make this clear just in case you