I can still remember the scent of the house during Christmas—a scent that for years I wondered how to replicate. No overpriced tree we ever bought in U.S. could match the scent. Years later, long after my parents stopped pretending that Christmas trees mattered at all, I re-evaluated the scent of Christmas in our house in Panama. It was the scent of angry pine beat by the unrelenting humidity of a climate it did not belong in, combined with the smell of the house, formed after fifty years of occupancy, old furniture and dust. The scent of the family that lived there all along. The scent of history and time.