Christmas and chocolate just seem to go together. Like many the world over, Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas for me, without its mouth-melting goodness.
Chocolate treat expectations vary from country to country. Some like boxes of indulgent chocolates, others stockings stuffed with goodies, like chocolate Santas.
As an Irish kid, candy canes and lollipops didn’t feature high on my wish list. A selection box is what I dreamed of.
Come Christmas morning, my eyes quickly scanned beneath the tree, searching for a familiar, gift-wrapped shape. A rectangle, about eighteen inches long and one inch high, always held the promise of a selection box. Ripping the wrapping to reveal a brightly colored box with Santa’s image, brought sweet relief. In all the years of my childhood, Santa never failed me. There before me, each and every Christmas, lay all my favorite bars.
Chocolate for breakfast was definitely part of my Christmas morning menu. Since Christmas time is sweet time, Mom just let us indulge. I still love these chocolate bars, and luckily they are all still available today.
A Crunchie holds the promise of a golden, crispy, honeycombed center.
A Curly Wurly’s intertwined, caramel ribbons are covered in chocolate, that falls off in miniscule pieces with every bite. No matter how hard I tried, I never managed to eat it without making a mess.
A Flake consists of folds of crumbling chocolate. It made an even bigger mess than the Curly Wurly. Luckily, I was usually still in my pajamas as I licked my lips. My Christmas dress remained safely hanging in the wardrobe.
I always saved my Fudge bar till last, because as the song went, “a finger of Fudge is just enough to give your kids a treat.”
As I was searching for selection boxes on the internet this year, I found some categorized as “retro chocolate treats.” It made me a little sad. I wondered if Irish kids today consider selection boxes to be “old fashioned”.
Then I found this picture. Once I saw the rows of selection boxes piled high atop the grocery shelves, I knew that Irish and English kids still love selection boxes, just as much as I ever did.
One of my triplets asked me a very important chocolate-related, Christmas question a few days ago:
“Do you think Santa will go to Ireland first, so he can bring me a Peppermint Aero for my stocking?”
“I’m not sure!” I stuttered in reply, thinking how will Santa’s American elves find the treat he grew so fond of in Ireland over the summer.
Then, to my great surprise, I found a minty, chocolate stash, right here in my neck of the woods. I was gazing abstractedly at the world food section in our local Meijer grocery store, when distinctive green, foil wrapping glinted in the fluorescent lighting. I could not believe my eyes. Santa’s elves directed me to the corner where Peppermint Aeros, hid behind those distracting Crunchies.
So this Christmas, as his little hand searches the shapes in the bottom of his stocking, the familiar, rectangular shape of his favorite Irish chocolate bar, will meet his sweet, chocolaty expectations.
Have a wonderful, chocolate-filled Christmas.
Nollaig Shona Duit
Irish American Mom
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