The Rank: Christmas Confections

Holidays are a wonderful time of the year, and it’s not only because of the general feeling of peace, goodwill, and harmony that is always present with the holidays. It’s also because, just like your birthday and Fridays, Christmas is as good an excuse as any to gorge yourself with ridiculous foods you’d pretend to not want to be caught eating the remainder of the year.

Sometimes, though, you have to take the good with the bad, and that’s sometimes hard to figure out. So here’s a convenient ranking of the standard holiday desserts and candy that you may find presented to yourself this holiday season.

7. Figgy Pudding: Ick. Seriously, who eats this, besides the British, who, not having a world empire to oversee anymore, love to pass the time away thinking up disgusting things to do with otherwise perfectly serviceable secondary foods? I mean, OK, figs aren’t exactly bar food, but there’s nothing wrong that 6,000 years of Middle Eastern horticulture can’t sort out on its own. But boiling the things and thickening the soupy remains and throwing some green sprinkles on it doesn’t exactly evoke the spirit of Christmas. It mostly evokes milk of magnesia.

6. Gingerbread House: I’m not a real big fan of food you have to work to eat, and the real rip-off for the gingerbread house is usually its construction requires ample supplies of superglue and macramé, products that have been scientifically proven to be less than disagreeable to the digestion. So I say, what’s the point? If I wanted to stare at delicious-looking food that I would never dream of eating, I’d go to Denny’s.

5. Candy Canes: I hate candy canes. Well, that’s a lie. There’s nothing wrong with candy canes that giving them to someone else as a Christmas “present” can’t fix. I’m not sure why I dislike them so much, either. I don’t dislike peppermint. I guess it’s the fact that there’s SO much sugar and peppermint to get through that by the time I’m done I want to brush my teeth with roughage. Also, it’s one of the few candies that is designed better for hanging on coat racks or swinging around on your finger than actually placing in your mouth to eat. Occasionally some company will try to make them fruityish-flavored, which is kind of like reupholstering a Schwinn and selling it as a Chevy Impala.

4. Eggnog: I don’t get most dairy drinks beyond milk, which at this point appears to simply be a nice, cold refreshing glass of BGH. I guess I’m skittish about eggs, since my psyche has developed an unhealthy paranoia about them in that I assume all eggs are raw and contaminated with salmonella unless I personally carry the egg from the hen’s butt to the frying pan. So I simply have to assume I’m drinking pure bacteria when eggnog enters my mouth. That said, the real selling point of eggnog is yet another excuse for adults to get drunk and hit on third cousins, since drinking half a bottle of Blue Label by yourself makes you an alcoholic, but drinking a dozen mugs of cognac-laced eggnog makes you the embodiment of the Christmas season. Salut!

3. Ribbon Candy: I’m not positive this is strictly speaking a holiday candy, but I seem to see it with increasing frequency during Christmastime. Basically, the evolution of mankind has somehow figured out that the shape of the candy cane is inconvenient for easy consumption, so it’s best to chop it up in little pieces and serve it that way, so instead of being a ridiculously-shaped moderately-pleasing candy, it’s simply a moderately-pleasing candy.

2. Candy That Is Exactly The Same As Regular Candy Only In A Green And Red Wrapper: Got to give it to the marketers on this one. It’s not a Three Musketeers; it’s a Christmas Three Musketeers, because the wrapper has a bit of holly in the corner. Mark that puppy up about fifteen percent. Still one can’t complain too much, since after Christmas, the exact same candy bar is now worth about a quarter of the market price. You’re finally gonna get sold, Christmas Necco Wafers!

1. Christmas Cookies: You really can’t beat a standard rack of nice, warm Christmas cookies. Thankfully, this is a pretty broad category, and it covered everything from chocolate chip cookies to Oreo cookies dipped in fudge to sugar cookies with cleverly colored sugar cubes on it to a large assortment of ethically-originated cookies that is simply every culture’s way of shoving sugar and excess flour into our mouths. And I can’t think of a better representation of the harmonious Christmas spirit than that.

Knowing when to deny yourself some horrific snack no one really wants to eat but everyone does because it’s the “holidays” will discourage those destroyers of holiday cheer from making it next time, making Christmas more pleasant for everyone. If we’re successful with that, next year we’ll work on carolers and Christmas cards.

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