If it seems a little odd for me to write about Christmas on January 5, please note that this is the last day of the Christmas season on the Christian calendar. The Christmas season runs Dec. 25-Jan. 5.
A few weeks before Christmas, in the heart of Advent (a time of preparation), I was doing all the usual things to get ready... baking, card writing, shopping decorating. While at a gourmet grocery store to purchase a few gifts for others, I spotted a display of Hammond's Candy Canes.
The display was gorgeous. The candy canes' colors were bright and cheery--stripes of purple, blue, white, green, red; the proffered flavors were intriguing and unexpected--cotton candy, clove, sugar plum, apple pie, root beer, pomegranate, just to name a few. Oh, and yes, there was classic red-and-white peppermint option.
I stood before the display like a wide-eyed kid struck still with wonder, jolted for a moment out of the rush-rush jadedness that seems to creep all too easily into the adult experience of Christmas.
Then someone accidentally jolted me, literally, and I popped out of the kid-again-moment. I noticed the price tag--3 bucks for a candy cane, albeit a humongous one, seemed like a bit much! And I was in a hurry. So I pulled myself away from the display and to the check-out line.
But I couldn't stop thinking about that candy cane display.
And finally, just before Christmas, I decided that I was being silly by denying myself a simple pleasure. Yes, 3 bucks for a candy cane still seemed extravagant, but I went back to the grocery. I was a little worried I'd built up the beauty and appeal of the candy cane display in my memory, but it didn't disappoint. I lingered in front of the display and finally selected sugar plum.
I finally unwrapped it a few days ago. The candy cane didn't disappoint. In fact, it was not only delicious; its taste made me think of sugar spun sweet dreams and possibilities, just as the name sugar plum suggests.
I haven't finished the candy cane, but that's all right. As we head out of Christmas and into Epiphany, I'll continue to enjoy it to the very last taste. After all, getting and enjoying the candy cane was something of an epiphany: enjoying, savoring, and appreciating simple, sweet things is one of the greatest pleasures of life.