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Apple Baskets for Everyone!
By Karen Treharne

When we speak a word of encouragement, comfort or instruction at just the right moment in time, it can be as sweet to the soul and as nourishing to the heart as a gift of golden, delicious apples to both the giver and the receiver.

There are tart apples, sweet apples, crunchy and juicy apples. There are pie apples, eating apples, bobbing and drying apples. God loves variety and that's why He created you and me, similar in some ways but very different in others.

God made us unique so that we would bear fruit individually in response to those around us. One of the ways this can be done is through apple-basket giving, and when we remember that all our fruit-bearing efforts are dependent on Him and not on us ... He gets all the glory!

Apple "baskets" can be used in many encouraging ways:
  • Harvest Party door prize with a note, "You are the apple of God's eye."
  • Get-well gifts with a note saying, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away."
  • Grandma's Gift.
  • As a "cheering-you-up" or "thinking of you" gift.
  • Remembrance.
  • A gift of encouragement.
  • An appreciation gift for your pastor.
  • Birthday wishes.
  • Anniversary memories.
  • Friendship basket (fill with reminders of "core" friendship values: respect, truth, patience, honesty, prayerful, compassionate, helpful, joyful, gentle and so on.
  • Thank You Teacher Basket.
And any other occasion you might think of!

These "baskets" can be made from a variety of containers, such as decorative apple barrels, baskets, bags, or boxes lined with apple-themed wrapping paper. They can be filled with items such as:
  • Bag of apple chips.
  • Sparkling apple cider.
  • Caramel apple dip with sticks.
  • Apple cinnamon tea.
  • Apple decorated teacup or mug.
  • Apple-fragrant candle or candle holder.
  • Red/green apple towel.
  • Apple-parer.
  • Apple shaped cookie cutter.
  • Apple flavored jellybeans.
  • Apple recipes such as Appleberry Tea or Apple Casserole.
  • Off-to-school goodies for the college or boarding student.
Choose a few of the above items, mix and match them, add your own individuality, and make them appropriate to the individual or occasion. You are only limited by your imagination.

You can also add a few fun facts about apples to your special basket:
  • 61% of the apples grown in the U.S. are still eaten as fresh fruit – just the way God made them.
  • Apples are actually part of the rose family. Robert Frost wrote, "The rose is a rose, and was always a rose, but the theory now goes that the apple’s a rose."
  • October is National Apple Month.
  • Moses Coates patented the apple-parer in 1803.
  • Apples are fat free and average only 80 calories each.
  • Apples are cholesterol and sodium free.
  • Apples provide dietary fibers that aid digestion.
  • Apples provide 8% of the daily Vitamin C your body requires.
  • The reason we are able to bob for apples instead of oranges is because 25% of their volume is air and they'll always rise to the top.
Some of the Apple basket ideas and the trivia facts used in this article were taken from "An Apple A Day" by Karla Dornacher, Copyright 2002 by Karla Dornacher, used by permission of J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc."
Karen Treharne lives in the state of Washington, which is one of the six states in the US where over 80% of our country's apples are grown. She lives with her husband, Ken, and father-in-law, Ed, is a published writer, and grew up when "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" was a common saying. Now scientists have proved it to be true.
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