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Decorating the Christmas tree was a family night when I was young. We listened to Christmas music, I made strings from popcorn, glued shiny, colored paper and cut out small snowflakes from white paper. My dad painted walnuts with gold and silver paint. Mom hung the special candy on the tree branches, that is made only for Christmas in Europe. This candy is a small bon-bon filled with various flavored filling such as chocolate, vanilla, marzipan, chestnut, fruit flavored jelly or caramel.
I wasn't supposed to eat the Christmas candy until we opened the presents Christmas morning, but I was about four or five years old when I noticed my dad sneaking into the dining room on Christmas Eve while mom was taking a bath. I peeked and saw dad carefully sliding the candy out of the wrapping and smoothed the paper back, so it looked like the candy was still inside it.
After dad settled down to watch TV, I sneaked into the dining room and gorged on the delicious, chocolate covered candy. In my childish mind my actions were justified. If dad can do it, so can I.
Christmas morning came, and I felt so tired that I didn't even feel the usual excitement of opening the presents. I didn't sleep well, tossed and turned most of the night. Dad was yawning and seemed tired as well.
After we had opened the presents, mom said, “Now we can eat some Christmas candy.” She reached up to take one, but when she touched it, the shiny wrapping paper flattened between her fingers. She touched the candy one by one and only found a few at the back of the tree that still had the bon-bon in it.
Mom looking at our guilty faces burst out laughing. “I guess you two didn't sleep much last nigh having a sugar high and now you can barely keep your eyes open! You learned your lesson I guess, next year leave some candy on the tree for me.”
From then on, it became a tradition to “steal” a few candy off the tree but dad and I never again put ourselves into a sugar coma.
Erika M Szabo
Author of urban fantasy, magical realism novels and children's books,
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