#2,151 Fireside.

Y’all know we get together with Jim and Mal most every night to rehash the day’s little victories and struggles, and in cold weather it’s a sorta family tradition between us to do that hanging out around the fire. Tonight Mallorie and I shared one of the outdoor sofas and a big cable knit blanket with a certain bundled up toddler, while Ben and Jim had their own chairs, some hot coffee and Bing Crosby Christmas on Pandora.

The are few smells in the world that combine with the very old Christmas songs you’ve heard your entire life the way a wood burning fire does to make such a powerful feeling of nostalgia, it actually makes time stop and your heart ache. Tonight I could smell the old house we lived in until I was 5 years old, remember the specific feeling of wearing my red and green flannel plaid nightdress, running to my mama and daddy’s arms in the formal living room where we put the Christmas tree and its many bright colored C9 light bulbs, with logs crackling and burning in the fireplace behind a brass peacock fire screen while Frank Sinatra singing Silent Night played quietly. That time and place is the defining feeling of comfort and love, in my estimation, and I’m thankful that a certain song and a certain smell with people who make you feel 100% loved and accepted never fades away even when you grow older.

Mama, can we put up your Christmas tree now?

Duluth Trading Company shared this tonight on facebook and I’m so proud I could bust. The judges will choose the grand prize winners in a week or so, we hear.