a sad Christmas tradition

© kjm

As a kid, I don't ever remember a fruitcake finding it's way into our house at Christmas. With a mom from Hawaii, early December brought a series of battered, brown paper-wrapped boxes from across the Pacific. They held wrapped presents (usually super cool, exotic surfing t-shirts for us kids) and a bounty of food items not easily found in the Heartland. Sheets of nori, sticky bags of crack seeds (li hing mui), jars of furikake, takuwan, and small blue cans of macadamia nuts. The most prized item in each of these boxes was the Hawaiian Host chocolate-covered macadamia nuts. Thirty years ago, these were exotic and tasty treats, only to been seen but once a year. Unfortunately, the candy took on a smiliar regifting role as fruitcake, and much to our dismay, the boxes went unopened. Maybe my parents would open one box, but the other five were usually taken to some holiday dinner party or office function. "They'd better enjoy those..." is what we always thought.

My Aunty Lyn still sends a box of Hawaiian goodies each year, and mine arrived today - just in the nick of time. Rivaling the chocolates these days is the homemade jaboticaba jelly, still truly a treat in my Midwestern refrigerator. And in keeping with family tradition, the box of (untouched) chocolates will be heading to Kansas City with me, to be given to Marilu's family. They'd better enjoy them...

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