Friday, December 22, 2006

Frankincense, and Other Christmas Elixirs

The other day I was complaining, being shallow and melodramic about my appearance. I felt old and especially ugly with my holiday pimple that popped up on my face. People would not look at me for fear of turning to stone. I needed a bag to put over my head...or something!

Then today I got perfect gift to cure my hideousness: Witch Hazel! When I thought about it, it was so fitting considering the Christmas tradition of giving that started off with the wisemen who doled out their own set of herbs and natural wealth. That tradition changed after Coca-Cola used the icon of St.Nicolas to don the corporate colours and peddle their product. The modern day Santa still serves to coerce us into buying more and more, transforming the original meaning of giving into a mania of shopping. So in this case, although it was still bought at a store, I thought it was considerate and suitable that the customer gave me my very own herbal remedy for my skin: something to work as an astringent, to turn back time, fight wrinkles, a practical fountain of youth!

The first Christmas gifts were the frankincense and myrrh that were brought to Jesus by the wisemen on his birthday. At that time, it was worth as much as gold, per kilo. I found out that frankincense, harvested mostly in modern day Yemen and Oman, the "incense of the Franks" (because it was them that reintroduced it to Europe) is a resin used in oils, herbal remedies and perfume. Alarmingly, the trees that produce it are under threat from humans over-tapping them and cutting them down. [CLICK HERE TO READ THE GLOBE AND MAIL ARTICLE] It would be a shame to have this sacred resource disappear!

I suppose rarity makes something worth more. That's why it costs so much for reindeer milk...and I've never seen it on the shelves.

The Witch Hazel was a nice gift because it was unusual and reminded me that someone had paid attention to my particular needs. Since it's rainy and grey and everyone seems to be in such a wretched mood today (not at all in the holiday spirit), it brightened my day. I also like how Witch Hazel smells. We'll have to see if it works!

Personal Diegesis


Blogger Prmod Bafna said...

Interesting awareness! Have a happy christmas and wonderful new year! :)

4:38 a.m.  

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