Today, December 27th, we celebrate that thing no one I know celebrates. That Christmas gift everyone fears receiving and no store will take back. The rectangular object you will put in your freezer and leave there for six years, at which point it will not have changed one bit from when you put it there. It will still sit, gloating, and fixing you with its evil, crystalized-cherry-eyed stare. Yes, it is National Fruitcake Day. Why celebrate this object? And, more to the point, do we celebrate the ones we get or the ones we manage to get rid of?
I have to say, I don’t think I’ve ever received a fruitcake as a gift. Possibly this is because God knew I had suffered enough with a holiday food heritage that included potato sausages, pickled herring, and, that favorite of Swedish jokes everywhere, lutefisk.
As an appropriate celebration of the day, I offer the following list of 15 things you can do with it, just in case you are not as fortunately fruitcake-less as I:
- Allow your child to carve it into a replica of Windsor Castle and enter it in the County Fair.
- Weigh down the tablecloth/ tent/ yacht as needed.
- Cover it in festive fabric for each season and use it as a doorstop.
- Bring it, anonymously, to the next church potluck or school goodie table. They do post specially trained guards against just such terrorist activity, so you’ll have to become a ninja pot-lucker. This only adds to the thrill.
- Dress it in a hat and apron and use it as a garden ornament. I hear the goose craze is waning. You might start a new trend.
- Slice, batter, and deep fry it and sell it on ebay as a southern delicacy.
- Swear you see the virgin Mary or Elvis in it. See above regarding ebay.
- Use it to hold down your Aunt Lucille’s 100th birthday giant balloon bouquet.
- Use it to help hide the body after you dump it in the river. But you didn’t get that from me.
- Free weights to begin that workout regime you promised you’d start next week.
- Give it to your boss as a decorative paperweight. Just make quite sure he didn’t give it to you last year.
- Use as a booster seat in the car, movie, restaurant. If the restaurant objects to your bringing food into the establishment, just point and says, “It’s a fruitcake.” Everyone knows they don’t qualify.
- Make it a decorative candleholder. Don’t light the candles if you fear the baker was a tad generous with the rum.
- If the baker was generous, just stick it on a pole and light the whole dang thing for a great tiki torch.
- Use as a block for that couch or bed that’s always been wobbly.
Good luck and, just in case, I have moved with no forwarding address. Do not even try to send that thing to me. There are laws against things like that in the US mail.