Human Flower Project


Orrington, MAINE USA

flag flower bed
Murrieta, CALIFORNIA USA

parker basket thumb
Princeton, MAINE USA

Friday, December 31, 2010

The Gift of an Orange


Brighter than gold, juicier than frankincense, sweeter than myrrh—and packed with wondrous information.


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Feed the mind and spirit with something ripe and real

Photo: John Groome

By James H. Wandersee and Renee M. Clary

EarthScholars™ Research Group

Our grandparents told us that when they were children, they cherished receiving oranges as a special Christmas gift. We probably looked puzzled and utterly grateful that we would be receiving much more than that. Yet, each year they made sure that we would also find oranges in our own Christmas stockings.  The orange was an object-lesson – one that took hold for both of us.

Today, we make sure there is a bowl with polished oranges on the dining room table to grace our families’ Christmas celebrations, reminding us that a Christmas gift does not have to be battery-powered and expensive to be beautiful and memorable.  Oranges also demonstrate that all life on Earth depends on plants, and that plants are more important for our happiness and survival than anything humans make.  For our own families, the gift of an orange is a tradition we hope to continue across many Christmases yet to come. 

In the 21st century, the experience of smelling and tasting a sweet and juicy orange on a cold winter’s day may not seem as amazing to children as it once was “back in the day.” Still, we know that without thoughtful and intentional, perspective-altering lessons from their elders, children may lose their natural sense of wonder.


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Posted by Julie on 12/31 at 03:54 PM
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