Every year we find a penny and an orange in the toe of our stockings. It reminds me to be grateful for small things. I love the fresh aroma of that small ball as I peel back the skin and my nose welcomes the smell of snow and skiing and childhood winter snacks. The penny takes me to the grocery store pony and the 30 second rides my children had while I checked out and paid.
Laura Ingalls got an orange and a penny in her stocking when times were really good and she felt wealthy for these treats. She savored it in the deep of winter when fresh produce was nonexistent, eating it section by tiny section. There were Christmases when her stocking held no fragrant orange and still she wrote about the richness of her life flavored with music, family and love.
Without a doubt the best thing I’ve done as a parent is read and reread the Little House books to my children on The Island of Yummy. Snuggled close we read about Pa’s fiddle, Ma’s love of a clean home and Laura who never wanted to wear her sunbonnet because it limited her field of vision.
I think of the boxes and boxes of Cuties I eat. I pop two in my pocket as I walk down the street, forgetting to remember how delicious they are.
Tomorrow, as I prepare a platter of Cinnamon rolls and light candles to sing Happy Birthday to Jesus, I want to remember this Created Earth full of oranges and pony rides and children who fit so well in my arms when I read.
I want to be grateful for that luscious and vibrant color in the toe of plenty that greets me and my loving family as we sing.
What are the altared spaces in your Christmas traditions? What is the plenty that surrounds you? Does the scent of an orange make you think of snow as well?