THE LAST CHOCOLATE COVERED CHERRY

Christmas ended at 6:45 P.M. at my house on the 26th of December.

In order to keep the record clear it started on the 26th of November. On that day, my daughter brought me a box of chocolate covered cherries. My wife and I both love this treat. The catch is we only eat them during the holidays.

I remarked to my grandson as he handed me the box, “This is the beginning of Christmas.”

Tonight when I walked in the house the first thing I felt was an eerie feeling of the death of Christmas. I walked in the living room to find that my wife had taken down and packed up any sign of the holiday. I was just a little sad but even more happy that it was done and I didn’t have to help.

“Bless you Pam.”

Still just boxing up the decorations cannot bring the end to a season. No, it takes something bigger than that. After all Christmas is in your heart, you know.

I walked into the kitchen and opened the freezer and there it was. The very last chocolate covered cherry setting in an empty sleeve all by itself.

This was most likely the last of at least four boxes we had munched our way through. We ate them as we argued about where to hang the decorations. How much money we were going to spend for Christmas and what we could and could not afford to do this year.

We had eaten them for desert after sandwiches and I had often sneaked one as a midnight snack. We had even eaten one when we thought Christmas would never get here. Yes, chocolate covered cherries are the comfort food of choice for the two of us through this most stressful time of the year.

After all of this and without any fanfare, I popped the last one in my mouth . While the juice ran down both my throat and cheek, I announced Christmas 2009 had officially ended.

I suppose one day they will stop making this delight. If so, I can only hope I am dead and gone. I just cannot imagine Christmas without them.

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