close-up of citrus slices

Celebrate Citrus

Publish Date December 7, 2023
Author MyMagazine Staff

Citrus is a holiday season star, but have you ever wondered why? Let’s peel back the layers on these bright, vibrant fruits and all the festive ways they can be enjoyed.

Decorating Darlings

Dried citrus decorations are all over social media feeds and for good reason: they’re gorgeous, festive and super simple to make. Slice a mix of oranges, grapefruits and clementines — you’ll want to aim for about ¼-inch thickness — and pop out any seeds. Set slices on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 200°F for 2–4 hours, flipping every 30 minutes. Once they’re finished, you can thread them onto twine to create a garland, add them to a wreath or even make sweet-scented ornaments.

Old-Fashioned Stocking Stuffers

In some families, it’s a tradition to wake up to an orange tucked inside your stocking alongside candies and other small trinkets. There are a few theories as to when or where this holiday tradition began. For families up north, citrus fruits were once considered luxuries and made delightful Christmas treats. Another theory suggests that oranges represent the orange color of the sacks of gold once left behind by Saint Nicholas. A third theory is that this tradition began during the Great Depression when receiving an orange would be an unexpected treat.

Can’t-Miss Citrus Recipes

A squeeze of citrus juice or a sprinkling of zest adds brightness to all sorts of yuletide drinks and dishes. We’ve rounded up some of our favorites here.

Jingle Juice

With a recipe name this jolly, how could you not smile with every sip? Ginger ale is a puckery complement to orange, cranberry and pomegranate juices, but crisp champagne also works well in the mix.

One-Pan Pork Tenderloin with Clementine

This elegant main course comes together in just 30 minutes. Fresh fennel adds an aromatic finishing touch.

Citrus Salad with Manchego Cheese

A colorful salad that’s ready in 20 minutes — this dish helps lighten up and brighten up holiday spread heavy hitters. Almonds add crunch, while a dash of dijon brings just the right amount of heat.

Clementine Glazed Roast Turkey Breast

Baking a turkey breast rather than the whole bird dramatically cuts down on prep and cooking time, leaving you with more moments around the table.

Roasted Castelvetrano Olives

Even people who aren’t typically fans of olives often enjoy the Castelvetrano variety with its buttery, mild flavor. And when you bake Castelvetrano olives with oranges, rosemary and spices, they become even more delightful.

Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies

Here’s a fresh twist on traditional shortbread. Seasonal favorites, like tart cranberries, pair deliciously with orange zest and slivered almonds.

Citrus Pomegranate Ricotta Salad

With green pistachios and ruby red pomegranate seeds, this salad practically sings with its holiday spirit and flavors.