Wednesday, 11 December 2013


Every year from the end of November until mid-January our grocery cart contains a wooden crate filled with clementines.  On our first Christmas together Chris insisted on going out to the fruit market to get "Japanese Oranges".  I didn't know what he was talking about, told him that this wasn't a real thing and mocked him for inaccurately labelling fruit with a nationality. I don't call kiwi "New Zealand Green Fruit",  his retort; "What about Florida oranges?" Well played.   Then I brought this up with a couple of friends who were raised on the west coast and apparently I was wrong, this is a thing in BC and has been for 120 years: Japanese Mandarins.  Apparently these were a huge deal and a great Christmas gift, particularly in war times and the depression era, with the wooden crates being converted into sleds, shelves, doll beds and other useful items.

In our family the smell of peeled citrus fruit has replaced the cheap chocolate of dollar store advent calendars and this makes me happy.  If I can encourage even one holiday tradition that doesn't result in the onset of type two diabetes, I'll consider it a victory.

An attempt at a Christmas shot last year.

On a daily basis the minions will insist upon at least one "Japanese Orange" each.  Molly likes hers divided into halves, not segments, where she sucks out all of the juice like some sort of fruit vampire (Bunnicula anybody?), handing me back the husk of fruit proclaiming, "Here Mom, gross!" and then demanding more orange.  I've been informed by daycare that Jack can get so excited about whenever they have oranges that he tries to eat the peels.*

Last year I was a little sad that family allergies have prevented us from getting a real tree anymore.  Nothing beat the smell of a real pine tree in the house to tell me that it was December and Christmas was coming, until now.  I am so happy that sticky sweet fingers and the smell of oranges will remind me of the holidays with Chris, Molly and Jack. 

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*Extra fiber?

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