“Orange” you excited to see what’s in your stocking this Christmas?
Hanging stockings on the mantle started as just your everyday household chore. They were washed, then hung on the fireplace mantle to dry. So why has placing oranges in them at Christmas time become a tradition?
There are many different theories on this tradition, some based on history, some based on folklore. Either way, getting an orange in your stocking for Christmas was a treasured gift.
Legend has it that back in the 4th century, a certain gentleman, the Bishop of Mya (the real St. Nicholas) gave three balls of gold (bags or bars) to three poverty-stricken maidens who had no wealth for dowries. According to the legend, St. Nicholas threw the “balls” of gold through the maiden’s window in the dead of night. One conveniently landed in a stocking hanging above the fire to dry. So, an orange in the stocking to represent the “ball” of gold.
At the end of the 19th century in Europe, gift-giving at Christmas came in rogue. The orange (or any citrus) was a rare and expensive fruit. Thus, it was a treat for children of homes of modest means to get an orange on Christmas morning.
Hanging stockings on the mantle on Christmas Eve to be filled with goodies by St. Nicholas dates the 19th century. When the depression hit the U.S. in the early 20th century, the same sentiments about getting a hold of citrus rang through. Not many could afford citrus throughout the year. It was a luxury. Getting an orange at Christmas was a big deal.
Although acquiring oranges in present times is a lot easier than it used to be, the Christmas orange will always represent generosity. The generosity of a man named St. Nicholas, or the generosity of a parent spending that little extra money on something special for their children.
Our greenhouse is home to a variety of fresh citrus trees just in time for the holiday season. Choose from lemons, limes, oranges, and other fun bursts of juicy, fragrant fruits. Even in the Midwest, proper care and maintenance will ensure your citrus trees last all year long. Read More About Caring for Your Citrus
Start a new tradition this year- purchase a citrus tree and soon you'll have your own citrus tree collection to enjoy season after season.
Looking for a fun gift idea? Check out our holiday gift baskets that feature a basket full of fresh citrus surrounding a citrus tree.
Citrus bloom generally in the late winter to early spring and set their fruit in spring. Harvest of the fruit is generally late fall into early winter. Even though a citrus plant may produce lots of blooms, it may only produce a few fruits due to conditions, and the plant's ability to only sustain a certain amount of fruit.