The Candy Box

 

There is still candy left over from Christmas. I need to stop eating
it and move back into my regular food routine. Still, Christmas candy
does cause me to reminisce as I reach for yet another hardy-candy
shooter followed by a dark chocolate-covered caramel chaser. The
heady blast of sugar and fat brings about some favorite memories of
the traditional Christmas candy box.

Some friends of ours brought a wrapped gift over the other day. Based
on its shape, it was either a large puzzle or a huge candy box. It
was rectangular in shape and about two feet long by one foot high. I
hate puzzles, too much like having a part-time job. However, that
much candy in one place scares me; it’s just too easy for me to
access it’s bounty in such a concentrated form. It is like giving a
baby the controls to a nuclear device. I hoped for the puzzle and
opened it; it was candy. It was the Brach’s mega-sampler suitable for
serving one platoon of soldiers or one individual given to momentary
indulgence.

I dug in. I’ve always said anything worth doing is worth doing well
and I showed warrior spirit as I attacked that huge box of
increased pancreatic insulin response. Lisa got a few pieces before I
slammed the lid shut then duct taped the contents until I could bring
the whole sheet into work. It was here that the women of my office
could aggressively embrace the box of chocolates as if they were
meeting a co-workers new baby for the first time.

The little brother to the candy box is the candy bag. The candy bag
is more utilitarian and less regal in its working class wardrobe of
brown paper bag yet carries more memories than calories for me. I
always received a candy bag after the Christmas recital at our
church. The Christmas bag contained a generous base layer of peanuts
in the shell upon which ribbon candy was layered. Precious chocolate
drops where then sparingly introduced to their new surroundings. I
recall a large, Washington apple was included not for healthy balance
but just because it was a good treat. The final flourish was a candy
cane which sometimes stuck out the top of the bag. Most often, the
candy cane was small enough so that the top of the bag could be
folded over and stapled for distribution to each child. The candy bag
was a good memory.

Back to that aircraft carrier-sized box of chocolates. It was a
genius move to include inside the box a map of the various candies
for more industrious and accurate indulgence. I will eat almost any
of these sumptuous treats with the exception of coconut. Eating a
coconut candy is like eating chocolate-covered hair so I appreciate
anything that allows me to gps my way around such a delicacy. I can
only imagine what an incredible treat a box such must have been even
a few decades ago. It must have been something around which families
gathered and enjoyed with an excited reverence. Even to enjoy the
presentation of the chocolates and to guess what might have been
without the map was probably a treat in such simple times.

After arriving at work, I enjoyed a few more chocolates including one
orange cream which punctuated the end of my little binge. The candy
was safely evacuated by noon the same day-however my memories
continue.

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