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Seasonal December Delights: Winter Fruits and Christmas Gifting

Christmas and the gift of fruit seem to have always been with us. But where did the tradition come from?

Giving of fruit as a gift in December has a long history dating back to ancient times. Story-telling history, though, seems to have it beginning with St. Nicholas, also known as the Bishop of Myra.

Legend tells of the 3rd-century saint (not the 6th-century legend known as Santa Claus today) gifting bags of gold to three women of little means that kept them from being sold into slavery.

Now, not a lot of people have had bags of gold to put in Christmas stockings. So, a less expensive alternative had to be found and that was the orange, used as a symbol to represent the gift of gold. And with the price of fruit some years, not too far off the mark…

The tradition of giving fruit as a gift continued through time. It was very popular in the Victorian era and especially during the Great Depression, when money was very tight. A piece of fruit was a true treat to many families during that period.

Then, in 1908, the California Fruit Growers Exchange had a brilliant idea that would lock the orange itself in as the Christmas fruit for gifting for years to come. With the aid of their Sunkist advertising campaign, images of Santa Claus were seen near and far, offering those bright and juicy fruits as the “most healthful gift”.

Not wanting to give too much credit to retail and capitalism, oranges may have also become a Christmastime standard gift as they are in season in December. However, so are some other fruits that are great for gifting, including mandarins, grapefruit, apples, pears, and kiwis, according to Ask the Food Geek.

From the health perspective, these seasonal fruits provide many nutritional benefits. The most significant is that they are all good providers of Vitamin C.

Vitamin C is known to improve cardiovascular health, wound healing, and improving immune system function. People with low levels of Vitamin C have been shown to be more susceptible to infections. What better way to boost the immune system of the ones you love during the cold and flu, I mean Christmas season, than with some fresh fruit.

Now, of course, you can just go to the supermarket and pick up fruit for everyone at home any time that you want to do it. But how about the people on your gift-giving list. Whether near or far, I’ll bet that they would enjoy getting that unexpected package of love in the mail at this time of year.

There are some wonderful companies that will ship gift packages of fruit for you right up until Christmas. Though, I would not wait if I were you. The closer it gets to the big day, the more expensive the shipping costs will be to get your gift there in time.

From simple to ostentatious, there is a fruit gift and a company to ship it for every price range. I took the time to find companies that were offering the best deals at this time of year. No need to go into debt sending a lovely gift of health!

Harry & David: Harry & David are currently running a BOGO 50% off sale on fruit gifts in addition to the 15% off for signing up for emails. They also have a discount for past and present military. Their prices start from $24.99. They have a range of gift-giving options, including baskets and towers, beautifully decorated for the holidays.

Hale Groves: Hale Groves has a Cyber Week offer, at the time of this writing, called Double Your Rainbow, where you get “twice the fruit free”. They also offer 10% off your first order when you sign up for texts, and you can sign up for exclusive email savings throughout the year. They even have recipes available on their site for great ways to serve that gift of fresh fruit.

Mrs. Fields: Mrs. Fields is offering up to 30% off her sales items right now. She additionally offers 20% off your first order when you sign up for emails. The fruit gift baskets start at $29.99 and can include some of Mrs. Field's exclusive goodies along with the fruit. Stop by their online store often, as there is always a “Deal of the Day.”

Now, as Christmas draws ever closer, you can change your gift-giving up by returning to an age-old tradition. Add some of nature’s sweetness to someone’s holiday on your list by sending a gift of delicious seasonal fruits. You could also send them a hint by sharing this article and get them to send you some too!

Please note: neither the writer nor The Latest View have been compensated by the companies named in this article.

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