Tuesday, November 06, 2007

An auspicious occasion

Now that Halloween is safely behind us, and none of my friends or relatives found razors in their popcorn balls, we can start thinking about Christmas.

When we lived in the States, we didn't really reach this point until the end of November, because Turkey Day stood between Pumpkin Day and Nutcracker Day. We had to wait all the way until Thanksgiving (which comes on the 3rd Saturday in November, or some such nonsense) before we could set up our tree.

Up here in the happy North, we can start decking the halls and hitting the rum-nog while the pumpkin rots on our steps (we would have thrown it out with last week's trash, but it didn't fit).

So many things signal the onset of the Christmas season. The malls should start playing carols any day now. The thrift stores have their tattered trees and decorations out of storage and slouched next to the counter of fake-gold jewelry. It is possible at this minute to buy earrings shaped like little wreaths.

One seasonal item in particular has always made me weep with nostalgia. Not the gingerbread, not the egg nog, not the nasty bits of fruit cake, but these. Juicy, fragrant, peelable Christmas oranges. It's not the sight of them so much that gets me, since they've been in stores for at least a month now and will hang on until long after the tree's been de-balled and burnt up, but the actual smell and feel and taste. Oranges are around all year, but not these....these rare, precious fruits where difficulty in eating is exceeded by payoff. Some fruits are, let's face it, more trouble than their worth (I'm looking at you, pomegranates), but a Christmas orange practically peels itself for you. All you have to do is move your hand towards your mouth.

Today, after weeks of restraint - weeks of walking through the produce section with my eyes averted and my nose plugged - I purchased and ate my very first Christmas orange of the season.

Feliz Navidad.

2 comments:

Nathan & Melissa said...

I am in FULL agreement regarding Christmas oranges! I LOVE THEM! Its Christmas when those start coming out. I have not broken down and bought any yet, but a few ladies in my office have and Oh the smell is HEAVENLY! They've even blessed me by giving me a piece - and I have savored the entire bite!

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