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Remember the feeling of being a child at Christmas? It’s not really a feeling that can be replicated or explained. The pure excitement of seeing all the presents under the tree; writing a letter with what you want to Santa; making sure that you were good enough to get all the little things your heart desired; getting an extended period of time off from school; everything decorated with twinkling lights; and a lot of hot cocoa.
In the days before you can legally drink alcohol, a good cup of hot cocoa is basically crack: the marshmallows, the whipped cream, the pure decadence of drinking a cup of liquid chocolate. What could be better than drinking a cup of cocoa in front of the warm lights of the Christmas tree with cartoons on in the background, knowing that you will imminently be opening presents? Nothing. There is nothing better … except for actually getting to open those presents.
The younger Johnson grandchildren were corralled to the “kids table” near the Christmas tree in the living room, barely eating their dinners but downing large mugs of hot cocoa, hyping themselves up over possible presents, getting more of a crazy sugar rush with every sip. Separated from the adults, they had no concept of any kind of conflict, upset, or passive-aggressive tendencies; all they could think about was presents. And that’s all kids should have to think about at Christmas.
Each child had a chocolate mustache from their hot cocoa, but none of them cared. Who can be concerned with trivial things like a dirty face when there are presents to try and open using nothing but your eyes and the most concentration a child can muster while staring straight at the Christmas tree?
Before dessert was even served (normally their favorite part of any meal), the children had abandoned all pretense of eating and congregated around the tree, sorting out their presents into piles, shaking boxes, going to beg their cousin Chelsea to refill their cups of cocoa. Chelsea obliged, bringing them all refills of cocoa, and putting on the old family tape (because their grandparents had this thing called a “BCR,” or something, and none of the grandchildren knew what that was nor how to work it except for her) of recorded-from-TV Christmas cartoons and movies.
A little bit into Charlie Brown Christmas, Uncle Steve came and joined them on the couch, licking a bowl of candy and then falling asleep. While it was definitely odd, the children hardly took notice except for the fact that no other adults came over, meaning it wasn’t time to open gifts yet. Dang.
Then Chelsea came over, and picked out her gifts and the gift for her boyfriend. PRESENT TIME! Sadly, they were wrong yet again; Chelsea was leaving and taking her gifts with her. How come she could take her things and open them and they were stuck here waiting for everyone else? A collective whine rose among the kids; they were out of cocoa and patience and needed to open presents now before a group meltdown happened. The remaining adults minus Aunt Linda finally came in and sat down. And now, finally, it was the moment they’d been waiting for all day, every day, for weeks: present time.
Scent notes: Rich hot cocoa with mountains of fluffy marshmallows and a touch of coconut cream pie, tempered with a touch of patchouli and incense