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A Note from Bob Sickles on Oranges, Christmas, and Holiday Express!

This December at Sickles Market you can purchase two oranges for $10  and all proceeds will be donated directly to Holiday Express. An organization that offers the gift of holiday music, cheer, and financial support to those who need it the most! We are almost at our goal of raising $5000! Come get some delicious Oranges and help us surpass our goal! 

 As they say on their site “Founded in 1993 by Tim McLoone, Holiday Express uses the healing power of music and friendship to improve the quality of life for those often forgotten. Of the charities Holiday Express serves, the majority are registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. For many of them, traditional sources of funding are not sufficient to provide their basic needs.The holidays for those struggling with financial problems, health issues, and loneliness can be a time of increased sadness, and stress. This is often the case for the people Holiday Express serves, which include those with mental and physical challenges, veterans, individuals in addiction and recovery programs, the isolated, the poor, the homeless, and children with serious illnesses.

Our signature program provides an interactive holiday musical extravaganza led by a team of volunteer professional musicians, a delicious meal, fun holiday activities, and a gift bag – a well-stocked canvas duffel bag of brand new, useful and practical items, including a warm blanket, toiletries, gloves, hat, and scarf. Over 2,500 volunteers work year-round to make a difference in the lives of adults and children in need.”

Holiday Express

A Special Note from Bob Sickles

Christmas is a special time in my family now and when I was a kid. As the farming season came to an end and we sold our last pumpkins and apples, we would close our seasonal farm market ‘till the following April.  It was a restful time for our family of six and allowed us to enjoy December and take vacations.  My mom really relished it. She and Dad worked so hard during the season. They really needed some relaxation! Mom would bake; Dad would order seed and fix tractors. And finally school was out!

Everyone was anticipating Christmas morning! And the presents.  And most importantly Christmas dinner! Christmas morning we started pretty early. Mom had to tell us to go back to bed a couple of times. Finally we started opening presents and we always started with stockings. They were a big tradition. Every kid had one and they were full of candy, little toys and most importantly a big navel orange. There was important significance to the Orange. My folks were both small kids during the depression in the 1930’s. Christmas was a happy time, but there was not a lot to go around so the present was an orange, not much else. They were very special at that time and considered an “exotic” fruit. We got the orange in our stocking because Mom and Dad had fond memories of them and as a subtle reminder not to take for granted what we had, and to be charitable at the holidays, and help and share with those that are less fortunate.

I must admit I always ate the candy first before enjoying the orange, but the sweetness of the candy faded and the meaning of the orange never left. My folks were always good at passing along important messages subtly. Yes there were those moments of strict discipline, but intermingled were those tidbits of wisdom that are best passed along constantly but delicately. Forever unforgettable as true testaments to character. They are the messages remembered.

I hope this holiday season you have time to make special memories with family and friends. If you have kids, listen and learn from each other. It is a two way street. Taste the candy, but embrace the orange.

-Bob Sickles


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