I open the container and a delicious, familiar, smell overtakes me. Instantly, I am reminded of Christmases with my Grandma Beth and her caramel corn. From one smell, I close my eyes and I remember the Christmas Eve parties at Aunt Madge's. The terrible, yet inviting, red shag carpet; the fireplace that was double sided so it could warm two rooms at once. Hanging out upstairs with my cousins Tammy and Mark in the guest bedroom with the mirrored closer doors or down in the cold unfinished basement room - why it was fun for us down there, I'll never know. Grandma's caramel corn was always there.
On Christmas Day, the smell was there again. The giant bowl sitting on grandma's table - everyone grabbing as much or little as desired. The smell stayed with you throughout her house - probably stuck on our fingers because it was a bit sticky. Even the 1$ notebooks we always received as a "stocking stuffer" seemed to have a lingering stickiness in the days after Christmas.
This year, I am continuing the tradition. A few years ago, my dad printed out Grandma Beth's recipe and gave it to us. This year, as a family, we are trying to SLOW the season and enjoy all the gifts God gives. So, I made time to make the caramel corn. It's not difficult - especially now that we have an air popper for the popcorn - but, in years past, I always found something else to take up my time. The process was completed easily during nap time and, even though one batch is without the vanilla, it tastes delicious and the smell is once again in my life. The smell that has many memories for me and now, I pray, will carry many memories for my children.
John 18:37 "Then Pilate said to him, 'So you are a king?' Jesus answered, 'You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world - to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.'"
May you see and seek God's gifts and truth this Christmas season.