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Old 12-25-2018, 06:08 AM
 
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Hey, most of us here are old enough, and many may know already.

My grandmother was lucky enough to be a landlord in the north , and saved the rental receipts to buy a second home in Florida. So she'd ship us oranges up north in the winter. So no big deal.

But every single Christmas we found an orange in the bottom of the stocking.

Anyone know how or why that tradition came to be?

According to my mother oranges in the northern cold territory were hard to come by, and very "dear" ( expensive for those unfamiliar). So an orange was a great gift to get in a stocking on Christmas!!

I have continued this tradition with the great nephews, 9, 4 &3. They have grown up with oranges readily available in the store so I'm waiting for them to ask: "what's with the orange at the bottom of the stocking?"

So did you experience the same? Did you know what the significance was? Was it different than what i related?

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Old 12-25-2018, 06:18 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
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I don't remember how I learned the significance of the orange. Guess it's just one of those things I've 'always' known.

Our stocking were filled with practical things-maybe a piece of candy or something but usually small school supplies. We always had gifts under the tree-sometimes a few smaller things, sometimes one big one. But our stocking stuffers were practical. No oranges.
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Old 12-25-2018, 07:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PAhippo View Post
I don't remember how I learned the significance of the orange. Guess it's just one of those things I've 'always' known.

Our stocking were filled with practical things-maybe a piece of candy or something but usually small school supplies. We always had gifts under the tree-sometimes a few smaller things, sometimes one big one. But our stocking stuffers were practical. No oranges.
No oranges? Oh. You poor thing.

I just stuffed the great nephews stockings, half useable school supplies, and half candy. Thats how i always do it.

We will see them later today for dinner. And presents. This year they have now a playhouse at grandpas, so tyey each have a BIG box of toys to populate the new playhouse toybox. Lots of things, all for play, and coloring books.



And yes, an orange in the bottom of their stocking.
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Old 12-25-2018, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Orlando
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We always got an orange in our stocking as well -- navel oranges from California, if I recall correctly. Other stocking stuffers we got were a new toothbrush and other useful items. And a quarter (!) in the toe of the stocking.
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Old 12-25-2018, 08:51 AM
 
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I remember my mom telling me how excited they would be about getting a piece of tropical fruit in their stocking. Even I, growing up in southern MN in the Fifties, remember what cause for excitement it was to have green grapes in the grocery store in the winter. Otherwise the choices were bananas, apples and oranges.

My grandmother always included a little mesh bag of gold foil wrapped coins, A Jewish tradition for Hannukah, I think.

I heard Bachelor Son say last week that we used to tuck a container of macadamia nuts into their stockings. I'd forgotten. So I wrapped up a couple of containers for him for Christmas. Think it must have been a hint. Daughter always got pistachios.

The trick was to find something people wouldn't normally buy for themselves the rest of the year. A special treat.
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Old 12-25-2018, 08:54 AM
 
Location: Texas of course
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What's with the orange at the bottom of the stocking?

One explanation for this tradition stretches back hundreds of years to St. Nicholas, who was born in what is now present-day Turkey. He inherited a large sum of money, but devoted his life to helping others, and eventually became a bishop.
According to the story, St. Nicholas learned of a poor man who wasn’t able to find suitors for his three daughters because he didn’t have money for a dowry. St. Nicholas traveled to the house, and tossed three sacks of gold down the chimney for each of the dowries. The gold happened to land in each of the girls’ stockings which were hanging by the fire to dry. The oranges we receive today are a symbol of the gold that was left in the stockings.

A treat during the Great Depression.
During the Great Depression of the 1930s, money was tight, and many families simply didn’t have the means to buy gifts. Instead, it was such a treat, even a luxury, to find things like a sweet orange or some walnuts in your stocking on Christmas.

Oranges were once a scarce treat.
Some also offer the idea that fresh oranges were hard to come by, especially in the north, so finding one of these fruits in your stocking was a huge treat, and a way of celebrating the holiday.

It’s the season of giving.
Another theory behind the tradition is that December is the season of giving, and the orange segments represent the ability to share what you have with others.

Speaking of Christmas oranges, has anyone seen this movie?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWgTc5-azNY
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Old 12-25-2018, 09:09 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
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Originally Posted by galaxyhi View Post
No oranges? Oh. You poor thing.




not really. Don't tell anyone but I don't like oranges. Didn't then and don't now.
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Old 12-25-2018, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Niagara Region
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We never got an orange, but a tangerine and the shiniest red apple. The stockings were my dad's British army socks, in the very early years (mid sixties) in Germany. There would be brazil nuts and walnuts, and the walnuts were great because we'd carefully break them in half and make a tortoise out of the half, with our new supply of plasticine. Also in the stocking would be the little sack of gold chocolate coins, a tube of Smarties (similar to M&Ms). Often a Pez dispenser, a Santa-shaped chocolate, and KinderEier. Maybe a few little toys, a pencil-sharpener, etc. Very modest but we LOVED our stockings and would enjoy trying to take all the peel off the tangerine in one piece. Great memories of simpler times.
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Old 12-25-2018, 12:04 PM
 
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I've written about this before but in my family, it's from a time people didn't have very much and an orange was considered not only a treat but an exotic one.
Pre WWII in Italy, my mother was a child growing up in what was then and there a middle class family. People generally had very little as far as material things. An orange each was the only gift she and her siblings would receive as a Christmas present and they felt blessed to get one.
I say middle class because the way they lived was the norm among the population at that time. Of course there were some people considered wealthy and I'm certain they received more than just an orange.
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Old 12-25-2018, 01:56 PM
 
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We got an orange and walnuts in our stockings. We knew it was because oranges had been hard to come by in the old days and so were considered something special. I've never done it with the young ones because they'd think it was weird.
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