Every year everyone gets the same ghastly assortment of edibles from well-meaning but harried relatives and friends. The gift basket is the bane of Xmas, announcing at once that the giver didn’t want to have to think about what you really wanted, but got some kind of a deal on a “tower” (load) of fatty snacks which are wonderfully wrapped .

To this end, there are thousands of places willing to be “Your Christmas Assistant”. You can obtain Xmas baskets bearing any sort of thing you can imagine and some are so inoffensive that they are fit for anyone, even the most persnickety neurotic relative you have, or people who hate your guts.

First, there are the fruit places. Places which sell: fresh fruit, dried fruits, candied fruit, chocolate covered fruit, fruit which has been tampered with to render itself in vile colors, and fruit which promises a variety of things too good to be true (acacei berries and jojo berries and….whatever berry is the cure du jour). The fresh fruit is usually very good BUT you get so much of it that unless you own an orangutang, it will probably go bad before you consume it all.

Then there is the candied fruit which is exceptionally rich in sugar (and high fructose corn syrup) and masquerading as “healthy” when it’s just candy with a frill of fruit attached. I have seen some of this sugar coated stuff rack up more calories than a Snickers Bar, and the only thing that keeps people eating it is it doesn’t taste as good as a Snickers, and so they think it’s low cal. Wrong.

Then you get the fruit which is really tampered with. “Dingleberries” are one raisin which has been trapped in third rate chocolate and then rolled in a sweet hard and waxy coating. Same goes for anything which is purportedly coated in “yogurt”, phffft. These things have a shelf life of cinderblocks, so how can they have any real yogurt in them at all? They just taste like a tangy-sweet white “dingleberries” because that is what they are.

Stay tuned for part two of my mean spirited Xmas essay where I investigate such horrors as: nuts, summer sausage, and crackers. 

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