Right before Thanksgiving, my extended family had a rare reunion of sorts. It was the first time I had seen my cousins Fred and Willy (not their real names) in YEARS, which is a tragedy of sorts since we used to spends large chunks of time together in our growing-up years.
The thing about Fred is, he's been through some hard times the past few years. True, they were all his own doing, but that doesn't make them any less difficult. I was careful, at the Thanksgiving gathering, to hug him and smile at him and never once say, "You frickin' bonehead! What were you thinking running off with another woman to Montana?" We all got along quite nicely and it made me sentimental and nostalgic to the point that I thought I would invite him over for Christmas.
So about a week ago, I called him up and he tells me he's "out delivering candles." Huh. I had no idea that candle sales was a good rehab for a rough patch in life, but apparently he's making a go of it with his new girlfriend. And it just so happened I was in the market for a candle that smells like real Christmas tree since ours is fake and devoid of any aroma.
What a perfect opportunity to build some bridges in our family! I order a candle from Fred's new girlfriend, and there will be peace on Earth and in our family forevermore!
Sidenote: the candle scent is quite authentic. But not realistic. With a real tree, you can sit on the sofa sipping eggnog across the room from the Christmas tree and every so often a light hint of pine will make its way to your nostrils. With this candle, it is as if you have somehow enclosed yourself in the actual tree, so strong the scent is. As if the sap is smeared around your nostrils like VapoRub. As if there are no longer any other aromas on earth besides pine.
That nifty candle will burn away all its hours on my countertop - in honor of the efforts we make at Christmastime and year-round to get along with our families, resolve conflict, and accept each other for who we are. However, if anything goes awry and it burns down my house.... I'm going to take that as a sign.