Christmas Trees and Tangerines

 

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There is nothing like the smell of Christmas trees and tangerines. We have a Frasier fir this year and it is the most fragrant one I think we’ve ever had. I am sitting here now taking in that refreshing scent that transports me to Christmas Days past. Days of silver icicles, trees that seemed to reach the ceiling, Daddy listening to the radio tracking the route of Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve, Christmas dinners at Mama and Granddaddy’s, Japanese Fruitcake, ambrosia, pretty ribbons and paper, and best of all chocolate covered cherries.

Tangerines are the easiest citrus fruits for little fingers to peel. On the first tear, a pungent blast tickles my nose and promises tangy goodness to follow. The blast sends me instantly to stockings stuffed with fruit just my size, and successful acquisition of my own orangey treat.

It’s not myrrh, gold, or frankincense, that reminds me tangibly of Christmas; no, those precious gifts hold little direct meaning except through the Nativity story in Bethlehem. I know of the gifts the Wise Men brought to baby Jesus, but only in the hearing, telling, and reading about them. I was not there and not of that day and time. But, Dear Lord, if Frasier fir trees and tangerines bring Christmas understandinig to me and all that day symbolizes, I know it is the way You have given to me Christmas memories I hold dear to my heart, mind, and soul.

Frasier firs, tangerines, pretty lights, and Japanese fruitcake are part and parcel of how my family taught me to celebrate Your birthday, baby Jesus. It is a party I can understand and cherish; through gifts, scents, and yes, even chocolate covered cherries You helped my parents and grandparents provide. You taught me how to celebrate and hold dear Your gift, Dear Lord, Your precious Son, Your only Son to be our way-shower, a teacher that reaches us all where we are and with lessons uniquely suited to our abilities to understand, so that we, too, can truly join Your Kingdom as Your beloved children.  Amen

 

 

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. ~Norman Vincent Peale

 

The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. ~Burton Hillis

 

Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time. ~Laura Ingalls Wilder

 

Each time you look at a tangerine, you can see deeply into it. You can see everything in the universe in one tangerine. When you peel it and smell it, it’s wonderful. You can take your time eating a tangerine and be very happy.  Nhat Hanh

 

Orange strengthens your emotional body, encouraging a general feeling of joy, well-being, and cheerfulness. Orange vibration foods are: oranges, tangerines, apricots, mangoes, peaches and carrots.  Tae Yun Kim

 

Here are two other evergreens popular during the Christmas Season.

The Holly and the Ivy

The text was first published in a broadside dated 1710

The holly and the ivy,
When they are both full grown,
Of all the trees that are in the wood,
The holly bears the crown.
The rising of the sun
And the running of the deer,
The playing of the merry organ,
Sweet singing in the choir.

 
The holly bears a blossom,
As white as the lily flower,
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ,
To be our sweet Saviour.
The rising of the sun
And the running of the deer,
The playing of the merry organ,
Sweet singing in the choir.

 
The holly bears a berry,
As red as any blood,
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
For to do us sinners good.
The rising of the sun
And the running of the deer,
The playing of the merry organ,
Sweet singing in the choir.

 
The holly bears a prickle,
As sharp as any thorn,
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
On Christmas Day in the morn.
The rising of the sun
And the running of the deer,
The playing of the merry organ,
Sweet singing in the choir.

 
The holly bears a bark,
As bitter as any gall,
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
For to redeem us all.
The rising of the sun
And the running of the deer,
The playing of the merry organ,
Sweet singing in the choir.

 
The holly and the ivy,
When they are both full grown,
Of all the trees that are in the wood,
The holly bears the crown.
The rising of the sun
And the running of the deer,
The playing of the merry organ,
Sweet singing in the choir.

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