“No, Virginia…There is No Fruitcake Fairy”, and Other Holiday Truths…

Well…here it is…December 6th, and I am being struck by some harsh holiday truths:

1. There is no Fruitcake Fairy.  Somehow, Jim and I completely forgot about making his Grammy Clark’s fruitcake this year (usually a project we undertake while others are getting ready for Halloween).  I remembered it this weekend…too late!  Our kids won’t care (fruitcake haters, all!), but I’m sure Jim’s relatives who we normally give it to might notice its absence!  I happen to love fruitcake…I will miss it!

2. Times have changed.  Gone are the days when I made all my own Christmas gifts (1970’s), sent a Christmas letter every year (1980’s), or had all my Christmas shopping done by the end of October (1990’s).  Crap!  I’ve got to buy the stuff to send to relatives in Ontario – mail service has also gone downhill!

3. I’d rather have a real tree.  Artificial Christmas trees shed worse than real ones…allergies prevent us from having a real one.  The poor thing looks more decrepit every year…

4. Decking the Halls is fun “De-decking” is not.  I think it was March last year before we took the lighted candy canes off the outside of the house.  They have yet to reappear.

5. Gingerbread men have lost their charm.  Children lose their enthusiasm for holiday baking as they get older.  When asked if they wanted to help make Christmas cookies this year, the girls’ response was the equivalent of “Meh!” 

6. They should sell Scotch tape equipped with a homing device.  Finding tape to wrap presents when one needs it in our house is something akin to locating the Holy Grail.  Our tape ends up in young Justin Bieber fans’ bedrooms holding up posters of their heartthrob…(and no, Hope…you can’t have JB for Christmas!  We have enough teenagers, thanks!).

7. The cost of the present the kids want is directly proportional to how much money is in your bank account.  The less you have, the more expensive the present.  Teenagers find it so much easier to spend their parents’ money than their own!  On a related note, you are obligated to spend the same amount of money on each child, down to the penny (they keep track!).

8. I still cry when I hear “Silent Night”.  No matter where I am, this song still makes me burst into tears…it reminds me of my grandparents, who died many years ago.  My family members stiffen when they see “Silent Night” in the programme of any Christmas concert we’re at…”Oh, man…get out the Kleenex!  They’re gonna sing that song!”  It’s even more embarrassing when I turn into a basket case listening to Muzak in the mall!   

9. Christmas cards are passé.  I used to send out about 40-50 cards every year.  That was back when stamps were 6 cents each (okay, I’m exaggerating…I’m not that old!).  This year, I will probably send them to elderly relatives who don’t have e-mail yet (I should probably pick some up soon – cards, not relatives).  I will also use the opportunity to get rid of the approximately 187 wallet-size school photos we purchased. 

10. Taking a decent family Christmas photo of 10 people and a dog is really difficult.  This is the one we settled on yesterday after about 20 takes (Elise was watching the Garfield Christmas special on TV):

Hammond River Holiday Photo. Front: Hope, Anna with Jake, Brianna, Devin. Back: Jim, Wendy, Dave (Grandad), Scott with Elise, Kaylee.


Filed under cooking, family, food, memories, music, rants, satire, self-discovery, shopping

56 responses to ““No, Virginia…There is No Fruitcake Fairy”, and Other Holiday Truths…

  1. planejaner

    I love your list…my dad loves loves loves fruitcake…bleh.
    I cry when I hear “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”…that’s the one for me.
    and, thankfully, no Justin Beiber fans here…we just missed that pre-pube train!


  2. What a beautiful family Wendy! Congratulations on getting the family portrait complete!

    Now, about that fruitcake. Bah to fruitcake! Start a new homemade tradition. If you’re still looking for a challenge, make some jams or preserves to give to family members. They’re just as lovely as fruitcake – I think better. And when you receive fruitcake, you can use the preserves or jams on top of it. Multi-purpose. 🙂

    • Thanks, Suzanne! The family cleans up pretty well (thanks to Photoshop, Hope’s even got matching socks!). Oh, dear…another “fruitcake hater”…I try so hard not to be controversial! LOL. Unfortunately, I’ve never attempted jam…there’s something about canning that seems complicated to me…all that sterilizing! Wendy P.S. So, you and Ian don’t want fruitcake for Christmas?

      • Oh no! Fruitcake is great! It’s just not a necessity. And believe me, if I can make jam, you can definitely make jam! Come to think of it, if our jams arrive here in one piece, perhaps we can send you some…it just won’t arrive anytime around Christmas is all…

      • Glad I misunderstood, Suzanne! You guys should keep your jam…homemade jam is probably hard to find in the North! I was joking about sending you fruitcake for Christmas (fruitcake haters would consider that a threat!). Wendy

  3. duke1959

    What a beautiful family!

  4. Love the list! I didn’t get my fruitcake made this year either. Don’t know where the time went.

    My kids always know when I have the “green stuff” in my wallet. I can go for weeks without any cash and the minute there is some in the wallet they know! How do they do that?

    As far as tears for Silent Night…I get teary eyed when the high school band marches down the street for a parade….when just about any old Christmas hymn is played and watching the kids open their presents that they give to each other not the gifts we buy for them.

    • Oh, good…another fruitcake lover…yay, Jeanne! A lot of Christmas songs remind me of my grandparents – my Grandad played the organ and we used to sing Christmas carols there. Wendy

  5. Hippie Cahier

    It was worth the effort: your family photo is perfect. Nice looking bunch!

    Silent Night is my favorite Christmas song, too. (Seriously, were we separated at birth?) It also makes me cry, though not every time and not for the same reason. I’m sorry yours is a sad connection.

    It is way too early to be bringing up de-decking, Ma’am. Don’t go bummin’ me out. 🙂

  6. Homing device for scotch tape – I’d buy it along with one for scissors!

    Fruit cake – sorry, I have to join the fruit cake haters club.

    Un-decorating is my least favorite thing to do.

    And last, but certainly not least, beautiful family photo, Wendy. We did ours this past weekend also. More about that another day!

    Hugs and holiday cheer,


    • Hi Diane: I thought of scissors too…we have about 8 pairs, but there are none to be found when it comes time to wrap presents! Oh, no…not another “fruitcake hater”! Say it ain’t so! I’m looking forward to seeing your family photo too…you’ve got a pretty good-lookin’ bunch! Hugs, Wendy

  7. If you’re in the market for relatives, I’ve got some available.

    That’s where the tape goes? Could you get the girls to send me at least a roll back?

  8. What a lovely list, Wendy. You make me laugh, with all your asides! It’s quite sad about Christmas cards – they soon will be completely extinct.
    What a gorgeous family photo. And I love that Elise’s attention is elsewhere – she is such a cutie!
    Sunshine xx

  9. I agree with you on all fronts, Wendy. And, even if that photo was hard to take, it’s a lovely one. Even though I don’t think you should cave to the pressure of mass-mailing your Christmas cards, if you don’t want to, at least you have a good photo in case you do.

    I’m with you on Silent Night. Ave Maria and O Holy Night have the same effect, and I just can’t handle it.

  10. Judy Fortier

    I love fruitcake too, but I have to say I cry at things like parades when they play music, not just Christmastime. Great picture too!

    • Somehow I knew you’d be a fruitcake fan, Judy…we have so many other things in common! I cry when people make me go to parades! I was pretty happy with the photo too, except that I forgot to take my glasses off in the confusion! Wendy

  11. “They should sell scotch tape with a homing device”, had me in splits 😀 Maybe a scotch-tape fairy is in order!

    I must confess to not being a ‘cake’ fan but I’m sorry you forgot the cake! Fabulous family picture, especially Elise doing her own thing 😀 and Jake in his Santa hat!

    Your post made me realize, I should get cracking on our tree soon too…I love decorating the tree 🙂

    Hugs, H.

    • Hi Harsha: ‘”They should sell scotch tape with a homing device”, had me in splits’…interesting difference in terms…on this side of the pond, we say “had me in stitches.” I suppose it’s okay if you don’t like fruitcake…I love fish (but not curry!). I was pretty happy with the photo too! Hugs, Wendy

  12. Due to my nut allergy my Dad makes the fruitcake especially for me! And the pudding for that matter… maybe now that my kids are grown up I should think about taking up the challenge?
    Well I did say think about it 🙂
    As for the tree and decorations – this year every thing is on hold until we move…….
    The tape – where is the tape? I know I bought 5 rolls but can I find a single one?

    • Jim’s allergic to tree nuts, too, egills, so we don’t have nuts in our fruitcake. I’ve never made Christmas pudding before. No matter how many rolls of tape I buy, they always disappear! Thanks for visiting! Wendy

  13. Lovely post, Wendy, and beautiful family photo. And BTW, I have a great recipe for fruitcake that will change the hearts of any ardent fruitcake-hater.

  14. That’s a good looking family you got there, Wendy, and I like how everyone is looking at the camera except Elise! That’s too cute. YEARS from now, whenever you guys see that picture, you’ll go, “Elisa was watching that Garfield special.”

  15. For me it’s always the scissors that are lost. They’re always under the wrapping paper. Why don’t I look there first???

  16. Love the family picture! Beautiful. Silent night makes me cry too! Fruit cakes? Uhm, no thank you. And by the way have you seen my scissors?

    • Thanks, Katybeth! Glad you share my weakness when “Silent Night” is played…we can blubber together! Question for the fruitcake haters…have you ever had homemade fruitcake? It’s a completely different animal from what you buy at the grocery store… I can’t find my own scissors…maybe Cole is using yours for some strange experiment? Wendy

  17. Great list! I am so with you on De-Decking and Scotch tape. Glad I found your site 🙂

  18. Once again, your list delighted me and made me giggle.. Totally with you on the tape thing…grrr

    What a lovely family photo!!

  19. Great picture, Wendy, and loved the list.

    Question: The girls don’t want to bake the cookies, but do they still want to eat them? (That is, will you be baking up a storm…alone?)

    Time haven’t changed as much for me — I was never one to finish shopping early. I don’t want to start any “bad” habits I’m bound to break 😉

    • Thanks, Amanda! Re: cookies…strangely, cookies don’t disappear nearly as quickly in our house as pop, potato chips and ice cream…I could probably bake a couple of different kinds and that would be fine… Wendy

  20. Congratulations on the family photo! That was quite a feat. Lovely. 🙂

    Supergoddess Me

  21. This is an awesome list, Wendy! Can we get one of those homing devices on the scissors too? Also, Silent Night gets me too. Everytime.

    Thank you so much for including that photo. It’s perfect.

    Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family.


    • Thanks, Amy! I wish I had some technical ability…with all the people wanting homing devices on their scissors, I could make money! I’m pretty happy with the photo too, except that I intended to take my glasses off… Merry Christmas to you and your family too! Wendy

  22. Great list (and I love that photo, it is perfect!)! De-decking is definitely not fun… our place always looks so cold when we take down the decorations. I’m still on the card bandwagon though – I think I’ll always send Christmas cards by mail (especially with communication becoming ever more electronic!) – it’s nice to get something old fashioned through the letterbox every now and then 🙂

    • Thanks, Emily…we did pick up some cards last night…we want to send out the Christmas photo in them. We’ll only see Jim’s immediate family during the holidays, as the rest of our relatives live farther away. Congrats again on your wedding…I hope you have a wonderful first Christmas as a married couple! Wendy

  23. So I have finally made it to your fabulous blog. What amazing fun!

    I’ve notice you and your link on several of the other blogs I subscribe to—–

    I blog from Haiti, where things are deadly serious these days–but I try to use my expereinces in Port-au-Prince to both amuse and inspire. You might find it fun.

    Thanks for the laugh this morning!

  24. izziedarling

    Love it, Wendy! And I love the photo – it’s so great! Not only are kid’s gifts directly proportionate to bank account, so are home appliances, college tuition, oh, most everything! Happy Weekend and I hope you find your tape xo iz

  25. Nice holiday picture! Amazing that everybody is looking at the camera, even Jake! Although Elise is NOT looking at the camera, she is so adorable it really doesn’t matter at all. 🙂

    Happy Holidays!

    And yes, I dread taking down Xmas decorations every year. That’s why I leave them up until February!

  26. Great picture, Wendy. Elise not looking at the camera makes it even more perfect. That’s how all of our family photos look.

    I can only imagine the kids tracking how much is spent on their gifts. We have almost nightly arguments at dinner over who has the most food on his or her plate down to individual kernels of corn.

    Have a great holiday, Wendy. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks, Chase! Jim was having trouble getting the remote to fire on the camera, and Elise got distracted by the Garfield Christmas special on TV! Perhaps counting corn kernels will help hone the kids’ math skills? LOL. Have a happy holiday! Wendy

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