Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Orange (the color) (11/19/09)
TITLE: Gram's Greatest Gift
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You see, Gram was not just a child of the Depression, her family was dirt poor long before that fiasco hit, and often, her father couldn't even afford to get a tree. But every year, no matter how poor or well their finances were, he always made it a point to ensure that all seven of his children had at least a little something special in their stockings.
More often than not, they were filled with penny candies and an orange or tangerine, but even those edible gifts were as precious to his children than any doll or shoes or slingshot could every be.
By 1929, Gram's siblings were grown and had already moved out of the house, but Gram was just a few days short of eight when the stock market crashed, so she spent the rest of her childhood living by the old maxim: "use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without." And, consequently, that is why she is so particular about at least having some candy and an orange in each and every one of our stocking on every Christmas morning.
In fact, the orange alone has become such a treasure for her that to this day, while the rest of us are gulping down several sixteen ounce glasses of the juice each day, she continues to limit herself to a mere four ounces every morning for breakfast. We tease her about only drinking "a thimble full," but deep down inside, we know that "old habits die hard." And, as the poet Anatole France once said, "poverty taught me the true value of the gifts useful to life...."
So, while it may seem to some that giving an edible Christmas gift to a child is an awful thing to do, for the child herself, it can be the greatest gift ever, because the lessons it teaches about love can truly outlast the life expectancy of the greatest of tangible toys.
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