Thursday, December 08, 2011

Green Tissue

This is part of AndreaClaire's Christmas Memory Challenge series.

There were always so many things that we looked forward to every December. One of the big ones? Mandarin oranges.

I loved the crinkly green tissue paper, the easy to peel skin, the sweet, juicy segments, and the special mandarin orange smell. When my mom brought that first orange box home from the grocery store, it always felt like Christmas really was on its way.

Mandarins were expensive. We got one, maybe two a day. On Christmas morning there was always an orange in the toe of our stockings* and oranges in the fruit salad. On Christmas day, I probably managed to get myself three or maybe four of the coveted fruit.

I was torn between excited and disappointed when, in my early 20s, I moved to Vancouver on my own and discovered bulk mandarins available at the fruit and vegetable stores almost year round and that the boxes arrived at the grocery store sometime in November, maybe even October. I think the first two years I lived here I ate my weight in mandarins and I'm amazed my skin didn't take on an orange hue.

*I looked for the papers for those naked oranges in the garbage can for years, but apparently the oranges in Santa's bag are paperless.

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