Let’s talk about sad Christmas candy. I’m talking about the cheap, no-brand-name, totally rando crap that appears out of the woodwork come the holidays. They’re from the sketchy-sounding companies you’ve never heard of. What do they even do the rest of the year? What do they even make? My guess is particle board. Because that’s what their chocolates usually taste like. And I love it.
To me, it also tastes like childhood. Because my grandmother worked at K-Mart and brought us heaps of the stuff. And K-Mart is the exact type of store where you’ll find this stuff, in the flickering-fluorescent holiday aisle that always looks a little disheveled and run-down. I witnessed this phenomenon last night, as I perused the aisle. I was in Big Lots, but same difference. There was stuff just sort of coughed up in everywhere, on the floor, haphazardly hanging from uneven peg hooks, misplaced, misunderstood and most of all, unloved.
An employee came over to try and straighten it up before closing. I watched as she picked up a bag of candy off the floor. She placed it back on on the shelf. It slid off. She picked it back up. It slid off again. She picked it back up. It hit the floor again with a big fat plop. She muttered something under her breath and walked away. People, what I’m saying is, this aisle knows. The aisle of cheap, sad candy KNOWS.
I had to buy some to review it. To love it. To celebrate it.
Palmer’s “Christmas Mix”
Cheapness Factor: $3
Here. This image encapsulates the crappiness factor. It’s that foil wrapper, with no apparent place to start peeling it off. So you just attempt to peel it anywhere you can, but it only rips off a tiny piece. It takes twenty minutes to open to this candy and it won’t be worth it.
Even though the bag advertises a variety mix of “fudge bells” and “peanut butter cups” and “Crisp Kringles,” I can tell you that they all taste exactly the same — like sawdust.
Jolly Holidays Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cheapness Factor: .90
I mean, look at them. They look they were rejected from a box of Cookie Crisp cereal. They’re dry, chalky, gritty, and don’t taste like chocolate chip. Oddly enough, they taste like peanuts. Also oddly enough, I quite liked them. They remind me of the paltry little dessert you get with your Fiestada in the elementary school cafeteria.
Spangler Christmas Circus Peanuts – Peppermint
Cheapness Factor: $2
Circus Peanuts are one of those things that you either hate or YOU HATE. Normally they taste like the couch upholstery. I couldn’t wait to find out what they tasted like if you added peppermint into the mix.
Words cannot convey how truly disgusting these are. But I will try. It’s like a marshmallow, with all hints of marshmallow removed, leaving behind only the skeletal dehydrated husk, then pumped full of polyfill, flavored with the toothpaste scum that’s dried on the bottom of your toothbrush holder — but hell, even that sounds more appealing than what I just put in my mouth.
It’s bad. It’s nightmares.
Sweet’s Cinnamon Santas
Cheapness Factor: $2
This artwork seriously depresses me.
Tastes like: potpourri. I’m actually pretty sure THIS IS potpourri, accidentally packaged as candy.
I take back everything I said. I hate sad Christmas candy. I do not love it.