exploring, preserving: past, present

‘Twas the Night Before…

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I’m almost done my first week of my 30 day blogging challenge. There will be a December giveaway – but that will only be revealed during my December posts. 🙂

Today I’m reminiscing about Christmas.

I grew up in a family that went to church. The church we went to made sure that every Christmas, there was a Program. This Program included singing from the choirs (children, youth, adult), a play of some sorts (usually the retelling of the story of the birth of Jesus), much carol singing with the congregation, and – at the very end – gifts for the children.

Nothing extravagant, mind you. But *free* nevertheless. As a little girl, I waited and waited for the moment the Program would end and children would be called up to the front of the church to receive a gift. Everyone got the same thing, but it still felt…special.

The gifts were all wrapped in brown lunch bags.

Inside the bags were an assortment of hard candies, chocolate, a small candy cane or two, a handful of peanuts in their shells, and what I was desperately waiting for – a Mandarin Orange.

Mandarin oranges were hard to come by when I was growing up. Now, as an adult, I’m noticing that mandarin oranges are available for a couple of months before Christmas as well as a month or so after Christmas. That wasn’t always the case. Mandarin oranges came “but once a year”, and they were expensive. At least, they were an expensive extra for our family. So to receive one large juicy orange for free? Wow, that was like Gold!

These days, a lot of people are caught up in big consumer frenzies like “Black Friday”. Buying more seems to be the norm. Buying thoughtfully, or not at all, seems difficult. All it takes for me to remember what it means to truly appreciate all that I have (and I know I am blessed with much), is the smell of citrus.

On this last day of November, the day before the Advent season begins, I am thankful for all that I have.


Author: tjthiessen

explorer, administrator, consultant, student, leader

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