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"Seafood sizzling in the fry basket, Cheer Wine bubbling at your nose..."

Since opening my business, I've been viewing the holidays through a very retail lens. It's advantageous to be mindful of the steps that need to be taken, preparations that need to be made, and calendars that need to be followed for the season to be "successful." But as Christmas Day approaches, I've begun to realize paying too much attention to those targets means missing the spirit of the season itself. And, per the immortal lyrics of the Waitressses, "I couldn't miss this one this year."

It should come as no surprise that most of my holiday memories and joy come from smell. All of us associate certain scents with the holidays--some expected, some less expected. I hesitate to say "traditional," though, because tradition isn't an objective term. A tradition is built up from repeated, somewhat ritualistic practice. So your traditional holiday scents may indeed be very different from mine, or at least for different reasons...

 Peppermint

Ah, yes, the cheery smell of mint:...

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