About Christmas Fruitcake
Just what is this stuff? And, does anyone ever actually eat it? It weighs a ton. You only see it around Christmas. Once it is made, it’s indestructible. Christmas Fruitcake lasts forever. You wonder…If I eat it, what will it do to me? Err, make that …is it even edible? Older generations know it all too well. With but one glimpse of it, younger generations often quickly dismiss it as a holiday doorstop. If it fits this description, then it certainly must be a…..Fruitcake!!!
During Great Grandma’s day, fruitcakes were as popular during the Christmas season, as ribbon candy. Okay, you don’t know about ribbon candy either, huh!?! Well, as the Christmas holiday neared, Grandma went to work in the kitchen. She lovingly took out all the dried fruits and nuts that she had so painstakingly harvested and dried during the summer months. These precious and sought-after fruits and lord knows what other goodies, were carefully added (glued??) onto, and mixed into, a thick and heavy, sugar-ladened cake. Liqueurs were added. Artificial preservatives had not been invented yet.
The resulting fruit-covered cake proved heavier and denser than anything else known to man in the entire universe. It was virtually indestructible. At this point, one must pause to appreciate the baker. It was made with love by Grandma. So, no one dared to turn it down when given it as a gift. And, no one dared not to eat a bit if offered by grandma.
Passing the Fruitcake
If you receive a Christmas Fruitcake, the trick is to get this gift of love from grandma, and not have to “crack” it open and eat some before she leaves your house. With a little luck, grandma will forget to ask later if you enjoyed eating it. Many people consider passing the fruitcake as a game. Re-wrap the fruitcake in a box and give it to someone, anyone else. Once put into circulation as a Christmas gift, a fruitcake could be passed from one person to the next several times during the season. You might even be “lucky” and receive the same fruitcake gift twice! In some families, you didn’t want to be the last to receive the “gift”, as you’d have the “joy” of eating it, or keeping it until you could give it as a gift next Christmas. In the meantime, it makes for a great doorstop.
Allegedly, nothing destroys a fruitcake, not even time. After the holidays, some people put it away until the following year, and put it right back in circulation! Fruitcake lore suggests it is often eaten decades after it was made!
If you receive a very heavy Christmas present this year, you just might be the recipient of a re-surging holiday tradition!
Did you know? National Fruitcake Day is December 27th.
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