The Sights & Aroma of Christmas

It’s hard to believe that this year is winding down and that Christmas is truly upon us. We’ve been busy decorating, cooking, attending parties and trying to take in the sights and aroma of Christmas. Here are a few ways we  are keeping Christmas in our hearts this season.

Don’t you just love fresh greenery? Simple cuttings of Holly and magnolia from the garden make a festive display in our outdoor planters.

 The metro Birmingham area is divided by smaller municipalities and just about all of them put up an official Christmas tree.  This one; one of the prettiest in the area, is  in Mountain Brook, Alabama

IMG_7389  We are big candle lovers at our house and nothing says Christmas to my nose like a nostalgic blend of Cinnamon, orange and spice.  Aromatique “The Smell of Christmas” is a wonderful way to capture the scent of Christmas in your home.
  “Oh Come Let Us Adore Him” – Though biblical inaccurate, (the wise men came a few years after the birth of Christ) our nativity reminds me of the true meaning of the season.


Our Christmas Tree and mantle – of all of the trappings of the season, unwrapping treasured ornaments collected by generations of my family evoke a sense of Christmas like nothing else. It’s as if for a moment, we are all together once again. The rose portrait that you see above the mantle was done for us by famed rose painter Michele Endersby.

I love all types of cider. Both the drinking, mulling and smelling kinds. This Christmas we have enjoyed this blend from Aromtique “Cinnamon Cider” with cinnamon, apples, oranges and a wee hint of vanilla, it is also a gift we are sharing this year.

If I don’t get a chance to see you this Christmas, let me take this opportunity to thank you for your presence in our lives. It means more to me than you’ll ever know.



About Chris VanCleave - America's Favorite Rose Gardener

Christopher R. VanCleave – America’s Favorite Rose Gardener Nicknamed "The Redneck Rosarian”, Chris VanCleave is passionate about gardening and growing roses. He is an active member of the Birmingham chapter of the American Rose Society, serving two terms as President. In 2007, he created the Rose Chat Podcast which has reached over a half a million listeners with news and information on growing on growing the world’s most beloved flower, the rose. He was a contributor to the 2015 Southern Living Gardening Book, has appeared on P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home television show and was featured in the June 2015 issue of Southern Living Magazine. Locally, Chris serves as Chairman of the Helena Alabama Beautification Board where he has spearheaded efforts to create a sustainable landscape in one of the top one hundred places to live in the United States. His writing is seen at and on his popular website;, where he chronicles his gardening adventures and explores an intrinsic mix of life, faith and gardening. An agent of change with over 20 years’ experience in process innovation, Mr. VanCleave is leading the charge to reinvigorate horticultural societies and helping them to reach their full potential in the social media age.
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12 Responses to The Sights & Aroma of Christmas

  1. rani2014 says:

    Merry Christmas to you and your lovely wife Tina. Thank you for all the hard work you do with the Rose Society.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fabulous post Merry Christmas to you from all of us at Authentic Haven Brand Natural Brew

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a wonderful reflection on the season. Thank you for your special mention, Chris, I feel like I am sharing Christmas with you, with the rose portrait being embellished by all your beautiful decorations. Sending you and Tina my very warmest Christmas wishes from Australia (and it looks like it will be a very warm Christmas Day over here for us!!)


  4. Eliza Waters says:

    Your decorations are so beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Cheryl Ellenburg says:

    I love your regular posts and this one was beautiful.


  6. What a wonderful post Chris! Thank you for sharing and have a wonderful day everyday! Especially the Holiday Season!


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