December 4, 2010

Christmas Is A Mandarin Orange

The winter holiday season is full of memories for me, but not because of presents. I actually can't remember any Christmas presents I have ever received. This isn't because of my two concussions either. In hindsight, presents just did not amount to much compared to everything else the season involved.

The anticipation of Mandarin oranges, for example. Now that you can get them year round the easy to peel orange has lost some of its specialness, but I still only buy them in December.

When the cold, short days of winter descend upon the land, the smell of peeling a Mandarin orange wakes me up like a citrus smelling salt. And like the smelling salt, the Mandarin orange can arouse consciousness. And this time of year we could all use a bit of consciousness arousal.

Although I do not remember the actual presents, I keenly remember the anticipation of presents. Presents are at their best arranged haphazardly under a heavily tinselated tree, and admired at night with lights a-glow. Magic!

The neatly wrapped boxes allow the mind to wander and imagine what wonderful things they might contain. Delay of gratification is hard, but can be delicious if nurtured properly. Indeed, it is the best part of presents.

Once the glittery gift wrap comes off, though, gratification proves to be wispy and dissipates quickly. Then it's back to the mixed nuts, and playing with empty gift boxes.

And eating Mandarin oranges.

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