Growing up as the baby of 5 kids, the lead up to the holidays was filled with the hustle and bustle of school concerts, recitals, family parties and of course lots of cooking and baking!! To this day I don’t know if my mother ever caught on to how many date logs I ate along the assembly line of rolling and dipping in coconut – they were always better warm!
In fact, now that I think about it the lead up to the holidays was and still is just as exciting as the big day for me…and I was reminded of that all over again this morning. What’s the one thing that reminds you of the start of the holiday season? Spotting the first set of lights on your street? First stock of eggnog on the grocery store shelves? Carols on the radio?
For me it’s clementines!
Yes, the lovely crafted wooden box of delightful tiny oranges perfectly nestled together and caringly covered with a delicate little mesh blanket to keep them safe. So sweet and juicy – they are like pringles really, you can’t eat just one! Of course the clementines were only part of the package…as it was really the box they came in that intrigued me the most. Oh how I waited in anticipation for the last clementine to leave the box and my father to tap it out in the sink before offering it up to any of us kids. As the baby I never had a worry that anyone would trump me since to them it was just an old box, but to me it was an empty canvass of fun…a serving tray, grocery cart, hat, craft bin, shoe box – the list goes on.
Flash forward 30 something years to this morning, in my own kitchen – the hustle and bustle of the holidays in full swing and my 4 year old daughter playing quietly in the corner. “Look Mommy” she said and there before me was the sweetest sight…her favorite doll, softly swaddled and ever so carefully placed in her new “clementine box bed”. It was the best!
So enjoy the lead up to the holidays. Sing the carols, drink some nog, bake the cookies and simply relish in the moments that bring you back. I’ve shortened my shopping list as of this morning and that clementine box will remain in our house for the rest of the holidays as a reminder of how our kids can find pleasures in the smallest of things and that it only take a box to bring out their imagination!