I have a really sensitive sense of smell, a fact that is both a blessing (when cookies are baking) and a curse (when I manage to somehow track a tiny piece of cigarette butt into our car on the bottom of my shoe and then spend half an hour wondering why the car smells so strongly of cigarette smoke). I also love Christmas, perhaps more than just about anything else, and so I find Christmas tree shopping and my trusty proboscis to be two great tastes that taste great together: the tree lot smells like Christmas trees, and then your car smells like Christmas trees, and then your house smells like Christmas trees. Eventually your garage smells like Christmas trees and then the side of the road smells like Christmas trees and some landfill smells like Christmas trees and I’m curled up in the fetal position on the couch, weeping and feeling not at all festive enough.
But! The place where we cut down our tree has a little building that contains a wee little Christmas market, and one of the vendors in the market sells candles, and one of those candles smelled like Christmas trees! And lo, I forked over way too much money for two of those candles, and in a moment of desperation last week I finally lit one. I expected it to be morale-boosting, but it sadly had the opposite effect, and left me pondering the complicated system that is the human brain, that the exact same scent can in one month spark anticipation and, dare I say it, even glee, and then in the next month leave you feeling glum, listlessly counting the days until next December.