12 days of Christmas: Day 7

12 Days of Christmas: Day 6
December 18, 2012
The 12 Days of Christmas: Day 8
December 20, 2012
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12 days of Christmas: Day 7

Day 7 of our 12 days of Christmas.  Enjoy this story!

Treat/gift idea: Orange or Chocolate Orange

Story:

The Christmas
Orange

Jake was nine years old with tousled brown hair with blue eyes
as bright as a heavenly angel. For as long as Jake could remember, he had lived
within the walls of a poor orphanage. He was just one of ten children supported
by what meager contributions the orphan home could obtain in a continuous
struggle seeking donations from townsfolk. There was very little to eat, but at
Christmas time, there always seemed to be a little more food than usual, the
orphanage seemed a little warmer, and it was time for a little holiday
enjoyment. But more than this, there was the Christmas orange! Christmas was
the only time of year that such a rare treat was provided and it was treasured
by each child like no other food: admiring it, feeling it, prizing it and
slowly enjoying each juicy section. Truly, it was the light of each orphan’s
Christmas and their best gift of the season. How joyful would be the moment
when Jake received his orange! Unknown to him, Jake had somehow managed to
track a small amount of mud on his shoes through the front door of the
orphanage, muddying the new carpet. He hadn’t even noticed. Now it was too late
and there was nothing he could do to avoid punishment. The punishment was swift
and unrelenting. Jake would not be allowed his Christmas orange! It was the
only gift he would receive from the harsh world he lived in, yet after a year
of waiting for his Christmas orange, is was to be denied him. Tearfully, Jake
pleaded that he be forgiven and promised never to track mud into the orphanage
again, but to no avail. He felt hopeless and totally rejected. Jake cried into
his pillow all that night and spent Christmas Day feeling empty and alone. He
felt that the other children didn’t want to be with a boy who had been punished
with such a cruel punishment. Perhaps they feared he would ruin their only day
of happiness. Maybe, he reasoned, the gulf between him and his friends existed
because they feared he would ask for a little of their oranges. Jake spent the
day upstairs, alone, in the unheated dormitory. Huddled under his only blanket,
he read about a family marooned on an island. Jake wouldn’t mind spending the
rest of his life on an isolated island, if he could only have a real family
that cared about him. Bedtime came, and worst of all, Jake couldn’t sleep. How
could he say his prayers? How could there be a God in Heaven that would allow a
little soul such as his, to suffer so much all by himself? Silently, he sobbed
for the future of mankind that God might end the suffering in the world, both
for himself and all others like him. As he climbed back into bed from the cold,
hard floor, a soft hand touched Jake’s shoulder, startling him momentarily and
an object was silently placed in his hands. The giver disappeared into the
darkness, leaving Jake with what, he did not immediately know! Looking closely
at it in the dim light, he saw that it looked like an orange! Not a regular
orange, smooth and shiny, but a special orange, very special. Inside a patched
together peal were the segments of nine other oranges, making one whole orange
for Jake! The nine other children in the orphanage had each donated one segment
of their own precious oranges to make a whole orange as a gift for Jake.
Sharing what we truly value is the true spirit of Christmas. Our Heavenly Father
gave us His beloved Son. May we, like the children in the orphanage, find ways
to share His love with others.

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