When I was young, every year at Christmas my Mom made over 100 pans of Christmas fudge. The refrigerator in the basement almost always had pans stacked up waiting to be given out as a thank you – to teachers, neighbors, friends, family – or to anyone who happened to stop by during the holidays.
I waited in anticipation for fudge season to arrive, because then maybe I’d get a turn to lick the spoon or be on-hand for the pan scrapings that Mom would put on a plate for us to eat. But most every drop of “real” fudge was poured, while still hot, into the disposable aluminum pans that lined the chopping block awaiting their steamy, chocolaty contents.
And they were all to be given away – much to my dismay.
I have carried on the fudge making and giving tradition with my own kids and they too can’t wait for fudge season. Last Sunday, I was making the season’s first batch, and they were standing around the stove waiting with bated breath for the finished product and the scrapings. But just like when I was young, my kids only get the scrapings. The rest of the pans we give away.
Our family fudge tradition reminds me of Christmases past, from my own childhood, but I’m so happy that my kids see the true meaning of this particular tradition: the best gifts are given, not received.