It was just an orange...but to the little boy who spotted his name printed in charcoal across the bright, orange-colored peel, it looked like Christmas! And, it was!
Years later when my Dad was relating the story about that particular Christmas and his beautiful orange, tears began to well up in my eyes;"You mean an orange was all you got for Christmas"?
"Hey, oranges were a real treat back then!" Dad hastened to explain. "Our family was poor and fruit was hard to come by; but on Christmas we'd usually get a piece of fruit that Mother sliced up in five equal parts for all of us kids, so we'd each get a taste, and a couple of walnuts. But this one particular Christmas was special! We each got a orange! I got a whole orange just for me! My very own orange!"
Well, I guess you know my brother and I NEVER complained again about our friends getting all those toys and games while we were given what our parents called "essentials of life" type presents...as in pajamas, slippers or warm mittens. Nope! We never uttered a peep!
As years went by and commercialism seemed to sap the beauty and spirit out of the Holidays; to get my perspective back, I'd ask Dad to please tell us the story about that special Christmas when he got a whole orange just for himself!
Then I could picture that little boy of long ago, eyes shining with excitement as he spotted the orange beside his plate, with his name printed on it, and I could envision him joyfully clutching his orange tightly in his little hands as the family said grace.
Dad hasn't been here for the last few Christmas's, but we have re-told his story to our children, and they in turn have told it to their children.
No, it wasn't JUST an orange, it's the magic of Christmas!
This is an enchanting story. It sparks memories of childhood innocence and reminds me how incredibly blessed...and spoiled I am. Best of all, it ignites feelings of gratefulness, which is nice.
I really enjoyed this story so very much.
It was so wonderful that I did not notice the mistakes. I can relate to this kind of Christmas. Thanks so very much for this wonderful story.
Have a very Happy New Year in 2006
“the magic of Christmas!”
I read this more than once, and looking at an orange I thought of your post “The Christmas Orange”
When I was a child, we awake on Christmas to find our big brown grocery bag full with fruits, nuts and candy. This was all our Stepfather could or would give us Every Christmas. Your holiday post took me back to the child in me who wanted a doll for Christmas with tears that filled her eyes for she wanted more that her big brown bag gift.
Now I am just Thankful for the True Meaning of Christmas.
Thank you Marilyn for “The Christmas Orange” Truly a Beautiful Blessing story to share with a lesson on being thankful and knowing the true “magic of Christmas!”
God Bless, Helen
Marilyn, what a timely reminder this was for all of us. When the most-wanted individual Christmas gifts for children these days cost hundreds of dollars, your dad's story is a good pull back to what really matters.
From a quick critique point of view (because I know you want it) there were a couple of minor things I picked up as I was reading.
The first, in this sentence: "Hey, oranges were a real treat back then!", Dad hastened to explain.
You don't need the comma after the quotation marks. The exclamation mark is fine, and then you continue on. If you had said something like "he said," you wouldn't need a capital letter to start the "he" either, i.e.: "..treat back then!" he hastened to explain."
It's just one of those quirky things about writing dialogue.
The other part that tripped me as I read was this:
I'd ask Dad to, "tell us the story about that special Christmas when you got an orange, Dad, Please!"
There are two options to improve the flow:
The first: I'd ask Dad to tell us the story about that special Christmas when he got an orange.
The second: I'd ask, "Dad, please tell us the story about that special Christmas when you got an orange."
Anyway Marilyn, thank you again for this reminder. With love, Deb