Live a Pineapple Life! Hospitality Every Day of the Year…

Dear Reader:

Trying to “one-up” Honey Burrell when it comes to surcie giving…is a lesson in futility. No one will ever do it…for every gift or card you send…it comes back ten-fold. It is just who Honey is…deep down inside the core of her “pineapple life.

When I found these cards and coaster…I knew I had finally found the right gift to thank Honey for arriving each Christmas…(a few days before the big event)…laden with a pineapple, a bag of apples and all kinds of greenery and berries. In five minutes she has assembled my “Apple” centerpiece for another Christmas. In colonial Williamsburg it was known as “The Apple Tree”…today it is the “Pineapple/Apple” centerpiece.

Here is Honey arriving in 2014, 2015, and last year…2016. It is better (more exciting) than waiting on old “Ho Ho Ho”himself!

…and the end result…is always beautiful and it makes the whole “Happy Room” (den) smell wonderful…like Christmas has arrived.

In one of my earlier blogs I researched the connection and symbolism of the pineapple to generosity….and the tradition of a beaming Honey delivering the most special gift of all…her friendship!

Columbus and his crew “discovered” the pineapple in Guadeloupe in 1493 on their second (less famous) voyage to the New World. They called it the piña, due to its resemblance to a pine cone, and brought the “exotic” fruit back to Spain.

It took awhile but England and a few other European countries figured out how to grow it and soon it became a sign of hospitality. Captains of ships going to and from Central America, upon their return home, would often spike the pineapple and display it on their front porch as a way of letting the town know that the Captain was home.

Soon the hospitality extended to carving the symbol of the pineapple on bedposts to show their guests that they were receiving the nicest room and bed in the home in honor of their stay.

Today there is a town by the name of “Pineapple” in Alabama. It was originally named “Friendship” but another hamlet had beaten them to that name…so it was changed to Pine Apple… (this area was filled with pine and apple trees.) It has eventually evolved into one word.

(Signs of this universal symbol of hospitality are seen painted on the front doors of homes and the town’s welcome sign, carved in fanciful Christmas decorations, atop gate-posts and roof-tops, carved into bedposts and head-boards, and found in a variety of table centerpieces).

***I have come to realize, however, that even if I could manage to stick the apples in the nails correctly (Mike built the platform) and get the pineapple on and the greenery and red berries in place…it wouldn’t be the same without Honey. Christmas doesn’t come until Honey arrives bearing friendship…which is the essence of Christmas.


We’re not having Christmas in August…but I am storing up all the essentials to make it a wonderful one this month. “Miss Organized” is putting the pineapple/apple platform in a special cabinet, along with Honey’s piece of pottery- original snowman – and left-over snowballs from Marcia’s most fun gift last year for the children…and adults.

*The greenery in the vase is natural poinsettias…I leave them in the shade by the side of the house and they are so happy ….as December approaches…the stems will start to look like red and pink veins…by Christmas the most beautiful poinsettias will be on the front porch again!

So until tomorrow…”Live a pineapple life, be sweet on the inside…Stand tall and wear a crown.”

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

*I should have known yesterday would be a good day when I found a breakfast treat on the front porch…Anne’s oatmeal and peanut butter muffins…de-lish! Thank you Anne…what a way to start the day. One down….three more wonderful breakfasts to go!


About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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4 Responses to Live a Pineapple Life! Hospitality Every Day of the Year…

  1. Honey Burrell says:

    I love putting your apple tree together oh so much. That is what true friendship and love are all about! Have a beautiful day!! Love you lots


  2. bcparkison says:

    You have a special and wonderful friend in Honey.
    Do you know about The Pineapple Story put out by Basic Youth Conflicts…years ago.
    The friendship story takes place in Dutch New Guinea ( a first hand account) It is God story and I would tell it but would be here all day with my slow typing and pc goofs. lol


  3. Becky Dingle says:

    I don’t…will google and check it out…thanks!


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