There is White Christmas, and Blue Christmas, but the best is Orange Christmas. After the Christmas Pageant when I was a girl, we received candy bundled up with a mandarin orange. The orange was simple to unwrap, with a thin loose peel. When I moved to the US, I missed the mandarin oranges. Clementines appeared about 10 years later, but they weren't quite the same. The other orange I loved at Christmas was one made of chocolate, with individual sections that came apart. The outside edges of each section had a rind pattern.
For some years after my parents divorced, and I left Canada, Christmas felt unfamiliar, like an absence, a gray fog. As Stratoz and I have celebrated over the past 26 years, I have learned to accept Christmas day as it is, as it unfolds. Stratoz took this photo at his sister's house on Christmas. A little girl's Slinky toy, orange on the outside and yellow on the inside, glowing like a tunnel of light