“Christmas is coming; it is almost here! With Santa and presents, good will and cheer!”

The Christmas lights are going up right now. Skip is hauling the boughs out of the cellar and putting them on the front fence. I will no longer have the darkest house in the neighborhood.

We’re still in that warm spell. Today’s high here on the cape is supposed to be 59˚. Last winter was crazy because of all the snow. This winter has its own brand of craziness with the warmth of December.

I bought some ribbon candy the other day, the thin kind, the sort which carries a whole bunch of memories. When I was a kid, we didn’t have all the choices of candy decked out for the holidays that we have now. Boxes of chocolates were around, but they were more for gifts than for our consumption. We had lots of hard candy. Some of it came in a box similar to the animal crackers box including the string. The boxes I remember best were blue and had the Three Kings and the star on each side. I liked the peppermint, the cinnamon and the green ones which tasted of spearmint.  My mother also bought hard candy for the house. I remember the candy would stick together in the bag, but she’d put them out anyway. We’d pick through to get our favorites. I loved spearmint the best.

The thin ribbon candy stuck to our back teeth so we used to click our teeth together to hear the sound of the candy, a sort of thud. I liked the green ones best and then the red.

We used to get lollipops in our stockings. They were the see through types made in a mold and were mostly Christmas trees. It took ages and ages of licking to finish them so sometimes we’d get to the point where we couldn’t lick one more time. We were done. They’d get tossed.

I buy my sister thin ribbon candy every year. It is a connection to all of our Christmases. It is a tradition.

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24 Comments on ““Christmas is coming; it is almost here! With Santa and presents, good will and cheer!””

  1. Hedley Says:

    The WSJ ran a feature today titled “Deck the Double Deckers” talking about how much fun Christmas is in London. The article leads off by recommending shopping at Fortnum and Mason.

    We met a very large football player there at the beginning of November and we all loaded up with Fortnum and Mason seasonal delights including coffee, tea and marmalade. Don’t know how we got it all home really.

    Christmas songs have blasted for a couple of hours but somehow didn’t include the special tune that will appear tomorrow down the KTCC

    ‘Tis the season….

    • Kat Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      Nothing better than loading up with foods from home. They will make the holidays extra special.

      I load up with Ghanian trinkets when I go back. I even ate kelewele ( a plantain dish) on the plane. That’s about my favorite Ghanaian treat.

      I so love Christmas carols!!

  2. Bob Says:

    I’m waiting for the cold front to approach and bring us some more rain and cooler temperatures. It’s still in the 70s which is warm for us in mid December.

    Chocolate coins wrapped in silver or gold foil is traditional for Chaunukah. This year we found white chocolate ones. When the Assyrian Greeks conquered Judea they forbad the practice of Judaism. When Jews prayed privately they had to post guards to warn them if the soldiers were approaching. If they did the prayer would be suspended and they would bring out a draidle, a top, and coins and pretend to be gambling. The draidle is still played with today using the chocolate coins. The Hebrew letters on the four sides of the top stand for “A great miracle happened there” on all draidles except in Isreal. Israeli draidles read “A great miracle happened here”.

    • Kat Says:

      Bob,
      Bundle up now for that cold front of yours. You might just have to add a sweatshirt!

      We always had coins in our stockings. One year my mother bought the traditional Chanukah coins. We saw menorah on the coins and pointed it out. After that my mother looked for them every year.

      Thanks! I didn’t know the story of the dreidel.

  3. Hedley Says:

    For Birgit – Germany, Northern Ireland, Poland and the Ukraine

    For Christer – Sweden, Belgium, Italy and the Republic of Ireland

    For me – ENGLAND, Russia, Wales and Slovakia

    Euro2106 is set

    • olof1 Says:

      No big chance for us then 🙂 Well I’ll always have England to hope for 🙂

      • Hedley Says:

        Christer, you got a very difficult group, that’s for sure. Ibra will have to show up for you.

      • olof1 Says:

        I don’t think that would help at all 🙂 After all, he is usually standing still at the same place the entire match so it is up to the others to actually get a ball very close to him so he at least tries to reach it 🙂

    • Birgit Says:

      Could have been worse 🙂 Thanks, Hedley! The Poland match will be interesting.

      • Hedley Says:

        Birgit – I think Christer got the Group of Death, nothing easy for Sweden.

        The Welsh are mouthing off about playing England….we shall see !

      • Birgit Says:

        Sweden! Sweden! Sweden! And Belgium 🙂 Let’s see, I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

    • Kat Says:

      MDH,
      I will take no favorites. Whichever team is still standing at the end will be the one I root for.

  4. Birgit Says:

    I had to look up ribbon candy, I don’t think that you can get it here. It looks delicious.
    Advent calendar update: a plane. Not sure how to include that into the Christmas story. Do angels fly by plane nowadays? Or Herod’s men could take the plane? 12 more days, let’s see, how this story evolves…

    • Kat Says:

      Birgit,
      They are a Christmas tradition. I love the spearmint.

      My sister hides harshen she won’t have to share. When the only pieces left are the ones she doesn’t like, she then is willing to share.

      Okay, I’m at a loss about the plane except for one Santa. He used to fly to remote islands to deliver toys to kids.

  5. olof1 Says:

    Chilly here today with frost in the morning, well all day where the sun didn’t reach. Tonight will be cold and tomorrow as well with lots of sunshine 🙂 I don’t mind if it gets cold as long as the snow doesn’t fall 🙂

    Do You mean ready packed candy? No we didn’t have much of that when I was a kid either but otherwise I feel we had lots more different one than we have now days. Today when we can pick as we wish it’s more or less the same candy in every store, back in the days there were loads of different kinds and I miss lots of them.

    I do like ribbon candy and especially salt licorace but also the strawberry falvored one. Sometimes (around this time every year) they sell “old time” candy ready packed and I rarely miss the chance of byuíng that, It is usually hard candy that lasts forever as long as I don’t start c´hewing it 🙂 I always have blisters on my tongue the day after eating lots of those 🙂

    Have a great day!

    Christer.

    • Kat Says:

      Christer,
      Warm again today so it was nice being outside. I got everything done I had on my list.

      Yes, the Christmas candy came in a box when I was a kid. There was a lot of bars of candy, but they didn’t have a Christmas packaging the way they do now.

      I also like the strawberry licorice. I haven’t ever liked the licorice flavor. Some stores always carry packages of penny candy. I love to buy a few when I see them.

      Enjoy your evening.

  6. Richard Says:

    Warm, with increasing doses of ‘wet’ … 80% chance of rain tomorrow with the possibility of some ‘light flooding.’ Since I’ve been flooded four times, I can state without fear of contradiction there is no such animal as ‘light flooding, and any persons using that term have never experienced flooding. While I wait, I shall therefore play … then I shall git t’ cookin’ …

    What’s ‘ribbon candy’ … ? Is it like a ‘taffy’ … ? The term is strange, but perhaps the object isn’t. The Big Question: Is it better than chocolate? I can’t think of anything better than … oh – wait. Never mind. I can.

    I think we got lollipops, but not frequently enough for them to be a true implanted memory … they were in the ‘incidental candy’ category. The ones I remember were about six inches around and had a skinny cardboard ‘handle.’ The base color was white with multi-colored swirly things emanating out from the center in a spiral design. Lollipops should be chocolate. Same for ‘Les Candies Terribile’ known as ‘Jawbreakers’ … they were never a Door Number One prize in my gameshow.

    Any chance I got, I always swapped for Door Number Two.

    • Kat Says:

      Richard,
      I totally understand that flooding isn’t quantifiable. Any amount does damage, light or heavy.

      Ribbon candy is hard candy with stripes. It comes in flavors based mostly on the colors. Some ribbon candy is thick, but I prefer the thin candy. Here is a picture:

      https://bettyscooknook.wordpress.com/2011/12/25/ribbon-candy/

      I know exactly the lollipop you mean. I don’t think I’ve ever had one. The Christmas see through lollipops were mostly trees though I do remember a red one, maybe Santa.

      Nope, jawbreakers were never worth the work for me either. I’m a fan chocolate above all else.

      • Richard Says:

        Funny, but after my first flooding, I knew it’d be pointless to be pissed, so I adopted the attitude that whatever was left was the stuff I’m supposed to have. Strangely enough, although I miss some of the objects lost, I haven’t been hampered by not having them.

        Thanks to Bob for the ‘splain about the origin of the dreidel. None of my Jewish friends ever told the story of that or of how the Hanukkahgelt came to be … we used to get the foil-covered coins at Christmas and Easter, and sometimes they were tossed to the madding crowds from Mardis Gras floats, and then they had the Krewe’s logo stamped in the foil. Most times Krewes just threw colored metal doubloons …

      • Kat Says:

        Richard,
        I was given a dreidel by a Jewish friend and knew it was symbolic but I didn’t know of what.

        I still give my sisters coin at Christmas the way my mother did. It has become a tradition.

  7. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    My mother used to get hard candies and ribbon candy for Christmas. I didn’t like the ribbon candy because the shards were too stabby in my mouth when I bit it. The other hard candies were the kind that looked sort of like fruits. There were some round bumpy ones that were supposed to be raspberries, I guess. There were other shapes and colors. They had a soft fruity tasting filling of some kind.
    My favorite hard candies were the peach blossoms. They always stuck together inside their can. You could never get just one without it being stuck to at least one other but more usually two or three.
    We were not Jewish but chocolate Chanukah gelt was a must for stuffing stockings. There were also candy canes, the clear barley lollipops and the traditional tangerine stuck down in the toe. To this day I associate tangerines with Christmas stocking toes. 🙂

    Today was warm. People were out in tee shirts and shorts. Last winter started out like this. We didn’t really get hit until February. I hope there is not a repeat.

    Enjoy the evening.

    • Kat Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I remember those hard candies. The one I most remember is the square wine colored one with bumps across it which may very well have been the raspberry.

      My grandmother always bought peach blossoms. I liked them and their fillings.

      That is just too funny as my mother also put Chanukah gelt in our stockings. The first time was by mistake, but she did it the next year and a tradition was born.

      I’m with you in hoping that this winter won’t be the same as last year’s. All that snow kept me housebound for far too long.

      Warm here too. It is 11 o’clock and still 57˚.

      Enjoy the morning!


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