I recall when we were growing up, my mother put up the same exact Christmas tree every year. Same decor. No theme. And every year, she would add a new ornament – something one of us made or something she bought on Boxing Day the year before. When we were still living in Manila, we had the same artificial tree year after year. I was influenced by this. In our home, we have the same exact tree every year – same balls, same ornaments, no theme, not designed at all.
The only time we had a different tree was this year. I don’t really know what the story is behind this twig tree. I used to laugh at it. Now I think it’s hip in a Charlie Brown way. I believe that was the year my dad ordered a tree from Clark Air Base; and it didn’t get to us on time. That’s me and my brother.
Christmas traditions are funny. The only thing we have consistent is our tree at home. When it comes to Santa Claus, it’s always different. We try to meet him – either in a mall or in a hotel. When Sophia was 6 she asked my why Santa’s beard was short. I told her that he had a shave but wanted the kids in the Philippines to see a bearded Santa like in his pictures, so he wore a fake beard. She believed.
We’ve been using the same artificial tree since we got married. Our ornaments at home don’t change. I bought these tin toys 10 years ago, before Sophia was born. It was our first Christmas as husband and wife. I wanted generic, vintage-type toys. Or maybe I just didn’t know we were going to have 3 three girls.
Why am I writing about past Christmases? Well, our tree isn’t fully up yet. And I’m so bitin. Over the weekend we put up the tree but we had to stop after hanging the lights because both older kids have exams this week. Most parents in the Philippines know what that’s like. The world stops. I’m squeezing in this blog entry because by tomorrow, I won’t have time to do anything else.
We’ve been feeling Christmassy though, even without the decorated tree. I popped open a few of the new DAPHNE® Home Scents in Green Forest Pine and the house smells so festive! When Bench asked me about coming out with a Christmas scent, I knew it had to be predominantly pine. This is how I know Christmas in my parents’ house. This is what’s been lacking in our tropical home. The smell of Christmas.
By the way, here’s a list of Bench stores in the Middle East that carry the regular line of DAPHNE Home Scents (acres of lavender, homemade lemon tart and mint jasmine):
Dubai – Reef Mall, Dubai Festival City Mall, IBN Battutta Mall, and Meena Bazaar Mall
Abu Dhabi – Marina Mall and Dalma Mall
Fujairah – Fujairah City Centre Mall