By Sandy Sachs. September 14, 2010.
In many families giving and receiving Florida oranges during the holiday season is a time honored tradition. Whether it's exchanging boxes of delicious oranges and orange treats as part of the promise for a healthy new year or filling Christmas stockings with oranges people look forward to including oranges in their holiday celebrations each year. The tradition of giving oranges during the holidays goes back hundreds of years, and many people don't realize that at one time oranges were a highly prized and very expensive gift.
Back before shipping items all over the world was as fast and inexpensive as it is today it was very difficult for countries in Europe and other continents to get oranges which were primarily grown in the tropics. Oranges and other citrus fruits were expensive and most families couldn't afford to eat them on a regular basis. Because the diets that people ate were based entirely on what was in season and what they could grow getting the proper nutrition that is necessary to stay healthy was often a problem. Oranges which were packed with Vitamin C, Iron, and other vitamins and minerals that people in colder climates needed during the wintertime but couldn't usually get were highly prized. So giving your loved ones oranges during the winter holidays became a way to show your love for your family and friends because you were giving them a very expensive gift that would help them stay healthy. The sweet and brightly colored oranges were also a delicious and rare treat.
Even though these days it's fast and easy to have Florida oranges, grapefruits and other citrus treats delivered to your door the tradition of giving oranges and other citrus fruits at holidays continues. Parents like to continue the traditions they were taught as children, and their children may keep the same traditions as they grow up out of nostalgia. Even today opening a box of sunny Florida oranges or pulling a delicious orange out of a Christmas stocking can brighten someone's holiday even though oranges are no longer the exotic and rare gifts that they used to be.
Start a holiday tradition of giving oranges to your friends and family this year to show them how much they mean to you. Share with them the origins of the practice of giving oranges as holiday gifts and encourage them to pass the tradition on to their children. A simple orange can be a great reminder of what the spirit of the winter holidays is all about.