I just watched Charles Dicken’s classic tale of transformation in the form my children prefer it – A Muppet’s Christmas Carol. And while Miss Piggy and Co. are doubtlessly entertaining, I still prefer the original text with its acerbic wit and deadpan deliverance.
“Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail.” Indeed.
When Undina suggested this story as a theme for this years Christmas post (take a look last year’s O Tannenbaum theme here), I was immediately drawn in. So here is my attempt to determine my Perfumes of Christmases Past, Present and Yet To Come.
Ghost Of Christmas Past:
It was a strange figure — like a child: yet not so like a child as like an old man, viewed through some supernatural medium, which gave him the appearance of having receded from the view, and being diminished to a child’s proportions. Its hair, which hung about its neck and down its back, was white as if with age; and yet the face had not a wrinkle in it, and the tenderest bloom was on the skin.
The Christmas days of my past smell of snow and anticipation, of cookies and curiosity. When I think back, it was all about excitement, about freezing your toes off in church and waiting for that silver bell to chime as a sign that the Christkindl was finally here (and gone again in a flash before you could open the door and catch a glimpse).
I wish I could add a memory of a smell other than that of carp and mulled wine, that I could say something like: My mother always wore Caron Nuit de Noel… but , alas, she didn’t. My mother has not worn perfume for one single day of her life (or rather for as long as I have known her, who knows about the secret, shadowy days of her past…).
My Grandmother wore Diorissimo, which she reserved for days like this and for her birthdays. I know this as a fact, I remember her bottle on the nightstand, but I don’t recall ever conciously registering the smell on her.
My Ghosts of perfumed Christmases past, are ephemeral indeed.
“I am mortal,” Scrooge remonstrated, “and liable to fall.”
Ghost Of Christmas Present:
It was clothed in one simple green robe, or mantle, bordered with white fur. This garment hung so loosely on the figure, that its capacious breast was bare, as if disdaining to be warded or concealed by any artifice. Its feet, observable beneath the ample folds of the garment, were also bare; and on its head it wore no other covering than a holly wreath, set here and there with shining icicles. Its dark brown curls were long and free; free as its genial face, its sparkling eye, its open hand, its cheery voice, its unconstrained demeanour, and its joyful air. Girded round its middle was an antique scabbard; but no sword was in it, and the ancient sheath was eaten up with rust.
This Christmas, like the Christmases of the past few years spent with our children, are once more filled with a magic I had deemed lost over the years as an adult. Once more I find myself looking for the Christkind and hoping to catch a glimpse of its golden smock as it goes about its business, flying around from window to window bestowing gifts upon the children who have been good all year. (Well, my boys get something anyway, we can’t all be good all the time. )
Part of me is hating the forced cheer and various pressures of the season, but another part – the one that never grows up, I guess – enjoys the boundless joy of anticipation, the prospect of wishes possibly being fulfilled, the idea of magic about to happen and the safety of family all around, everybody healthy and happy and well fed.
I will smell of Puredistance I, as I have in the past two years. It is a perfume of great clarity and somberness. It has elegance and purity and poise. It has so many of the attributes I’d like to have.
My Ghost of Christmas Present has the qualities I strive for.
Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come:
It was shrouded in a deep black garment, which concealed its head, its face, its form, and left nothing of it visible save one outstretched hand. But for this it would have been difficult to detach its figure from the night, and separate it from the darkness by which it was surrounded.
Thinking about the Christmases of the future is the hardest, of course. How do I want them to be? Am I happy and content with how things are today and do I want them to stay like this in the future? What would I like to change? What could be improved? What do I stand to loose, inevitably, some day in the future? How will the Christmases yet to come look like?
I have no way of knowing, I can only hope that whatever will transpire will be kind to me and mine. I can only hope that life and its inevitable ups and downs will leave me whole and able to move past whatever is thrown at me.
What I don’t know, I can’t predict, but what I can do, is dream. And this being a perfume-themed post after all, let’s dream about the perfume of Christmas yet to come:
I will smell unbelievably good in my new signature extrait de parfum made for me by Roja Dove, commissioned by The Husband. A heavenly creation, named in the Dove tradition of snappy one-word titles: Ethereal
My Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come smells delicate, delightful, exquisite, fragile, fine-spun, graceful, soft, subtle and tender.
Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did not die, he was a second father. He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world. Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset; and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway, he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins, as have the malady in less attractive forms. His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him.
Take a look at more Christmas Ghost posts on these blogs today: