Every Christmas morning we have given our children a Christmas stocking stuffed with small gifts. This has become a family tradition.
As I write these words, Jan and I are waiting for our adult children to enter our living room to be greeted by their familiar stocking. We have our children open their stockings first before we hand out the larger gifts. The stockings we have used for these many years were knitted by their grandmother, Kathleen Parry.
Each year we put an orange at the very bottom of each stocking. This is a reminder of our family history. My father, Charlie Elkins, once told me the best Christmas he ever had as a young boy was the year he actually got a present. His family lived at the edge of poverty like many during the Great Depression. His favorite Christmas was the one when he received an orange as a gift. Oranges were considered very special. My wife, Jan, later told me the same thing happened to her father, Homer Parry.
These single oranges have reminded our children through all their growing up years the most simple of gifts can carry the most profound impact. This year discover the simple things. They are the memories that will remain through the changing seasons of life. Merry Christmas to each of you and may the coming New Year be filled with increasing joy and peace.