Thursday, December 16, 2010

Scented Christmas

One of my favorite things about the holidays are heartfelt gifts. I want to make something that my friends will enjoy but can let go of at the end of the season...something they can experience and savor but are not required to love for all eternity. Perhaps that's the inherent flaw of the commercial Christmas–the expectation of having to find everyone the "perfect" gift when in reality we already have enough.

I used to make pomendar balls with my mother when I was little and I remember how they scented our entire home. Pomendar balls originated from the Middle Ages and were used as natural air fresheners. You can use any citrus fruit, although they're classically done with oranges. To make a pomendar ball you simply poke holes all over the orange (I use the pointed end of a cork screw, although anything pointy would suffice) and then stuff them with cloves. You can poke holes strategically to create a design or you can divide the orange into quadrants to leave space for a ribbon (as shown in the photo above). If you're short on time and patience, just stab the orange haphazardly and it will look brilliant. Place the pomendar ball in a ziplock back filled with cinnamon and gently shake until the entire orange is covered.

I placed some wax paper inside this great box I found at Kate's Paperie. Tied with an antique red and white striped ribbon, this gift feels so special and unique.

Note for future pomendar ball enthusiasts: Adding oris root powder to the cinnamon will preserve the fruit so that it dries and lasts!

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