In the world of marketing and public relations (a world in which I live in for more than 40 hours a week) vanilla is a dirty word that finds itself attached to any lackluster effort. Vanilla events, vanilla mailings and vanilla publicity translate to boring.
Personally, I think vanilla gets a bad rap. And that’s coming from a spicy-chili loving gal who believes that there is no such thing as too much garlic; and whose motto concerning dessert is “if it’s not chocolate, it’s not worth the calories.” However, I recently looked at vanilla from a different lens when my husband whipped up a batch of homemade vanilla ice cream. Considering it a calorie waste, I was not going to even try the ice cream. After all, it’s not like I had never had vanilla ice cream before. But he spent time making it with the purest ingredients…the least I could do was try a spoonful.
Countless spoonfuls and 2 bowls of vanilla ice cream later, I found myself online researching the flavor I once considered dull. From this research (and from my own little taste test) I learned that pure vanilla is the antithesis of bland.
Vanilla is a fruit. It comes from an orchid native to Central America. The celadon colored orchid is the only one out of more than 20,000 varieties of orchids that bears edible fruit.
Vanilla is expensive. It is the world’s most labor-intensive agricultural crop, which is why it is the second most expensive spice one can buy.
Vanilla was once considered a luxury item that was enjoyed only by royalty.
Vanilla, in its purest form, is rich and robust. The phoney laboratory-created vanilla flavoring is what gives the real stuff a bad reputation.
Strangely, the more I pondered vanilla, the more I thought about Christmas. While Christmas, no matter how it is celebrated, resonates excitement, it is, like vanilla, often misunderstood and devalued based on misconceptions.
Christmas, in its purest form, birthed hope.
When we take away the glitz and tinsel, drop the shopping bags and pack up the expectations of life-imitating a Norman Rockwell painting, we’re left with beautiful reality…with the only thing that matters. Christmas is about Jesus. His humble birth. His life of truth. His sacrifice.
Like vanilla, Christmas is expensive. By expensive, I am not referring to the amount of money we spend on presents, but to what it cost God. Just think, more than 2,000 years ago, the One that spoke our world into existence donned flesh and embraced humanity as a person. He lived among lowly humans, permitted Himself to be cared for by people and then lived as a servant until purchasing enough salvation to cover every single sinner who requests it. That’s more than expensive. That’s priceless.
Too often, Christmas is blended with synthetic sentiments that dilute the sweet lusciousness that embody all that the occasion is truly meant to be. Sometimes all of the wants and obligations clutter the true meaning of joy. So this year, instead of wishing your Christmas be merry and bright, I’m wishing it will be exquisite, fragrant, and flavorful. I wish you a Vanilla Christmas.Leave a Comment
Your writing is simply beautiful.
May you, also, have a Vanilla Christmas.
Vanilla Christmas | The Daily Conservative says
[…] here to see the original: Vanilla Christmas Share and […]
i love it! thank you for the reminder of what it’s all about. it’s such a busy time of year, and i’m guilty of forgetting. i think i’ll keep a vanilla candle lit today….
Emily C says
I love it. A fresh view of Christmas!
Vanilla has always been my favorite spice and you made it even more wonderful by your words. Wishing you a vanilla Christmas!
erin beth says
“permitted Himself to be cared for by people” Wow. This really moved me this morning.
Christy McGraw says
This is a beautiful unique view of Christmas and vanilla. It is so lovely and moving. Wonderful post Angela!
Beautiful post! Thank you for sharing this lovely perspective.
ps – I only buy Mexican vanilla. Pure vanilla. None of that nasty, artificial stuff. And I use it extravagantly.
I have lost my sense of smell but when I could smell vanila was always a beautiful scent to me.
So I love this idea of Christmas and vanilla
Holley Gerth says
Your words, your heart are REAL vanilla. Yes, ma’am. That’s why we all keep coming back for more.
Marina Bromley says
Good stuff….even the best *vanilla* flavored cookies smell wonderful while in the oven, are delicate on the tongue, melt-in-your-mouth goodness….leave a fragrance on your mind…can’t wait to have another.
The best fudge recipe I have ever made STILL requires vanilla to be added!!
Thanks for pointing us back to Jesus for the holidays … precious!
connie j. post says
I loved this post…I am writing my memoirs and the name “Plain Vanilla’…so thank you for your rich insight on vanilla and it’s various meanings….spiritual as well….just loved it!
Love it. 🙂 I enjoyed your post.
Christmas, in it’s purest form, birthed hope.
I have been thinking about that all weekend. That He’s the only hope we had. Or have. Everywhere I’ve turned this weekend I’ve heard “hope”.
Absolutely beautiful words. Thanks for sharing Angela. A vanilla Christmas to you as well 🙂
Thank you, thank you.
I love these words: “…we’re left with beautiful reality…with the only thing that matters. Christmas is about Jesus. His humble birth. His life of truth. His sacrifice.”
Living the Balanced Life says
What a great point of view to take! I don’t care for “vanilla” much either, but it is the artificially flavored stuff I can’t stand. I don’t like cheap vanilla candles either. However, if we get a hold of the right stuff, the REAL stuff, it can make all the difference in the world. May we grab hold of the true, pure vanilla this Christmas, and have a taste of what Christmas is truly about!
Bonnie Gray | FaithBarista says
Angela, thanks for sharing vanilla with us, and pouring us a fragrant encouragement for Christmas!
And here I thought my husband was crazy for prefering vanilla over chocolate (like I do)! I’ll have to tell him that he’s right on. Although, pure chocolate is awfully healthy and delicious… =)