The fireplace should have been decorated.

My favorite part of the holidays is decorating.

I remember how we would come in from outside playing in the snow, and head directly to the fireplace.

Mom would have cinnamon sticks in a pot of water, and she had other spices, like star-anise and whole cloves, in the brew. The house had the smell of Christmas. The fireplace looked like Christmas. Mom would pull out the garland and lights, and it would be all around the mantle and down the sides. There were hurricane lamps with candles burning, and the candles were always bayberry scented. I always associated a fireplace with Christmas and all the joy that we had in our house. When my husband and I bought our house, I insisted we had to have a fireplace. My eyes twinkled when he said he had already put the fireplace on our list of must-haves. When we found our house, it thrilled me to see the old-fashioned fireplace. They made the hearth and mantle of brick, and it was burning brightly when we walked in. I knew it was the house I had been searching for. The only thing that was missing was the Christmas decorations. I smiled, thinking how beautiful we were going to make the fireplace when Christmas arrived. Once the sale of the house went through, I was already in the home centers and online, looking for the perfect decorations. My fireplace was going to be the focal point of our home for the holidays. I couldn’t wait until the holidays to arrive, even though it was still almost four months away.


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