breast your cards


When my grandmother was a child in western Colorado during the 1910s, Christmas was a big deal, even though nobody had two farthings to rub together. Still, every year, my great grandma Pearl and her husband John Evans used to find a way to get an orange for each of their five kids.

An orange during the winter in Red Mesa, Colorado in 1914 was about as precious as, say, stock in Google right now. And so, they woke up on Christmas knowing it would always be there. My mom carried the tradition with us, without even sharing the story until someone had the balls to ask why we were always getting a frickin’ orange in our stocking every year.

Once I found out, it was clear. And now Lucy will always have the same.


hope everyone out there had a fabulous holiday

7 thoughts on “breast your cards

  1. craighill

    i get an orange in my stocking every year too. just called mom and she gave basically the same answer – fresh fruit used to be a huge treat!

  2. kent

    Before widespread truck shipping, I think fresh fruit from more than 50 miles away was a big treat. I do know it is a Worsley family thing going back to Red Mesa, but it’s also in the Laura Ingalls Wilder “Little House” books, so I think there may be a second wave of the Orange-In-The-Stocking thing among a lot of people stemming from that book.
    The coolest thing this year vis-a-vis’ the oranges was the high tech orange zester, which takes off just the zest, leaving a curiously naked orange. It was a little like the cartoons where Sylvester The Cat gets his pelt ripped away and is of a sudden naked.

  3. Bud

    I’ve always gotten an orange, and my both parents said they got oranges, too. My mom grew up in Florida, though, so I guess it was pretty ho hum….
    Anybody else get a lump of coal?


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