So many of life’s experiences originate from the five senses. Our memories, daily lives, relationships and even the workplace are all affected by the abilities to see, hear, taste, smell and touch. I’ve recently come to realize that the Christmas season is one of the few times, if not the only, when every sense is appeased.

Close your eyes, and try to envision what it is you see when the word “Christmas” comes to mind. To me, visualizing Christmas is first and foremost the color red, and films such as “A Christmas Story” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

As the holiday season approaches every year, we are all immersed into every single classic Christmas film. In addition to movies, Christmas can be seen in other ways. I picture our toy Lionel trains to which my father dedicates so much of his time. I see my family in the act of giving and also people I don’t know with looks of excitement and anxiety. I envision so much.

Everyone hears Christmas; it’s a gift to the ears. Dave Smith, ’03, said that if he could listen to this season, it would be encompassed in the song, “Christmas Time is Here,” from “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

I think of this holiday and the song entitled, “O Holy Night” comes to mind, the most beautifully written Christmas tune, in my opinion. More than anything else, my ears are drawn to Frank Sinatra’s Christmas album, including his bittersweet version of “I’ll be Home for Christmas.”

Last, I hear my high school music instructor telling us that “It’s all rock and roll man, you gotta jam!” I smile, because whether we realize it or not, we’ll all jam to Christmas in our own way.

The sense of smell is strange; it’s proven that of all five, this one elicits the most memories. I feel like this happens more at Christmastime than at any other time of the year, as particular memories from childhood fill my mind after the classic knot cookies are being taken out of the oven.

Christian McEvoy, ’04, recognizes the power of this sense. “The holidays smell of the individual. It is the aroma of a longer embrace that attempts to cast passionate sensory memories,” McEvoy said.

The significance of the particular smells we associate with Christmastime, both in and out of our homes, go beyond the surface-they provide emotions and memories.

Christmas is easily associated with certain tastes. Each one of our families have those traditional dinners for Christmas Day, and we come to count on them every year. The season brings the taste of a ham carved by my uncle, my cousin’s salad, and my mother’s homemade manicotti. My family once tried to slightly alter the menu, and it was a big fiasco because we were breaking tradition.

“I taste the dough we use to make those Christmas cut-out cookies,” said Bridget Murphy, ’04. Clearly, we cannot think of Christmas without recognizing the tastes and the traditions that are derived from them.

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