It cannot be overstated how much we at Abraham Thinkin’ love Christmas. Truly, any superlative to describe a person’s enthusiasm is applicable to our Christmas Spirit, and it probably still falls short of effectively capturing the level of our Holiday Cheer. As we all know by now, the best way to spread Christmas Cheer is to sing loud for all to hear. Fortunately for you all, we cannot sing Christmas Carols to you through the computer, so instead, we are going to do what we think is the next best thing. Every day between now and Christmas Day, we will post something related to Christmas, including Christmas Traditions, Stories of Christmas Lore; some of Abe’s Christmas Faves, and much much more.
For the First Day of Christmas, we would like to start the festivities off by putting a sweet spin on things and detailing some of the classic goodies we all find in our stockings on Christmas morning, left by my man Kris Kringle. Please let us know if we left out any of your favorites below!
According to Candy Cane legend, these delicious, fresh-breath granting treats were intended to be an ingenious muzzle for young children. Around 1670, the choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral in Cologne, Germany, was trying to come up with a way to keep the little whipper-snappers quiet during Christmas Eve worship services. He asked a local confectioner to make some sweet sticks to keep their filter-less mouths occupied. As a Christmas twist, and to justify giving sweets to the kiddies, he asked the confectioner to curl the sticks in the shape of a staff to remind the children of the shepherds who visited baby Jesus. He also requested that the sticks be white to teach children about the sin-free life of Jesus. The origin of the red stripe is unknown, as is the addition of the peppermint flavor. There are a handful of theories on these additions, but they are largely conjecture and unfounded. All I know is, I love sucking the red off a few candy canes every holiday season!
Ah yes. The “Candy Corn of Christmas.” I have yet to meet someone born after 1970 who thoroughly enjoys saltwater taffies like baby-boomers and the WWII-ers do. Nonetheless, they are always around at Christmas, and it has always been a full year since I have had a saltwater taffy (i.e. just enough time for me to forget that I don’t like eating something that tastes like I just brushed my teeth and then washed my mouth out with sea-water). Legend has it that they were actually originally made with sea-water when a Jersey Shore confectioner had his supply flooded with a high tide. Health codes not being what they are now, he tried it out, liked it, sold it, and it became a huge hit. Yucky… In any event, I smile whenever I see these odd chewy candies because they remind me of Christmas, and therefore they are inherently good.
Ok, now we are getting in to the good stuff!! Peppermint Bark is like Christmas Catnip for the ladies, and the fellas love the stuff too. Made in a nearly identical fashion as peanut brittle, this stuff gets the edge due to its light, refreshing taste and the fact that you won’t be picking it out for your teeth for a couple days after eating it. For our reader who love spending time in the kitchen, here are a couple links to some can’t-miss Peppermint Bark recipes:
Reese’s Peanut Butter – Christmas Special Editions
Most of you are probably familiar with the Reese’s Christmas Trees – Chocolatety, peanut-buttery delights that are somehow way better than the original peanut butter cups. I know, I know, blasphemous… but its true! The peanut-butter chocolate ratio is much higher in the trees than in the cups. For those of you wishing for something a little different, they can also be had in white chocolate. I know some of you had your eyes roll back in your head when you read that.
Reese’s also puts out special holiday edition snowmen and bells. The bells are bite-sized treats that you can pop in your mouth for a little sugar pick-me-up, while the Frosties take a little more effort and may leave you wallowing in a delightful and well-worth-it diabetic coma. Sadly, the Frosties can only be found in Europe. Thankfully, we live in a world where shopping boundaries don’t mean a thing and you can order them on the internet. Yay technology!!!! How did people live before the 1990s??? Seriously.
Frango Mint Chocolate Truffles
This may just be a Seattle thing, so for all of you non-Seattleites, I apologize for making your mouth water over something you can’t have. Truly. Because you are missing out! Frango mint chocolate truffles were originally created for Frederick and Nelson department stores in Seattle, WA. They quickly became a huge seller around Christmas time and make an excellent stocking stuffer. Frango’s are a Christmas-treat staple in the Seattle area. Although Frederick and Nelson went out of business in 1992, the company wished to see the Seattle tradition continued and sold the candy line to the Bon Marche. When The Bon was bought by Macy’s in 2005, Macy’s smartly kept the line going. Today, Frango’s are available at any Northwest Macy’s and also available online in over a dozen different flavors. If you like mint chocolate, do yourself a favor and order some STAT.
Terry’s Chocolate Oranges
If you have not tried one of these balls of goodness, they are one of the most unique treats you will ever taste. Terry’s Chocolate Oranges are balls of chocolate segmented into 20 pieces, shaped like an orange, wrapped in orange textured tin foil, and infused with orange oil!!
These goodies seem to have a very hit or miss following. Personally, even though I love oranges and nearly anything orange flavored, I am not especially fond of these treats. However, for the scores of people like my father, it just is not Christmas without a chocolate orange. A decidedly European treat that has gained much popularity worldwide over the years, it is one of few non-novelty treats that is primarily marketed around Christmas time. As many people prefer chocolate to fruit, the chocolate orange has also replaced the tradition of placing an orange in people’s stockings.