Tuesday, December 22, 2009

"The Sack"

Sticky sugar laced spit, mingled with Kelly green and red food coloring, tinged with the fragrance of peppermint, rolled down and dripped off the young boy’s chin. There was just no way a person can eat the folded brightly colored ribbon candy and get it all in their stomach.
Christmas time was about the only time you would be aware of the “Christmas ribbon candy”. The unique flavor each year would snap the lucky person immediately back to years prior. The sweet peppermint flavor seemed to enrich itself each year, hardly any aftertaste similar to that of cheap cough syrup this year. The folded and looped ribbon was a constant row of caverns to catch oral juices that flowed with the mere thought of the first lick.

Other treats danced around but not sugar plum fairies. The ribbon candy was dispensed from what was referred to as “The Sack”. Other goodies were also placed in the sack. The contents were usually made up of an apple, an orange, various nuts, candy peanuts, (the kind that looked like a beige peanut), candy orange slices, (covered with gritty sugar crystals), and the famous ribbon candy. The exact date of origin is a mystery, but the Daddy’s Daddy had done the same routine. The piney woods of pre –world war two celebrated Christmas on a different scale than what we are accustomed to today, but times had not changed much at the time of this episode.

These sacks were originally left by Santa Clause as he passed though the communities. The name and distribution evolved over the years. The boy always referred to them as THE SACK, but as time brought him gray hairs and children, they called them PAWPAW’S SACKS. The boy has the opportunity to do the PAWPAW sacks now. He likes doing them. They added a lot of smiles when he first became acquainted to THE SACK and its sticky consequences. Over the years they have been enjoyed by many folks. They have no official direction of etiquette. The Daddy always had extra for unexpected opportunities. I often wonder who all remembers those SACKS.

Today’s version has changed a little. Due to allergy and choking hazard awareness, the contents are prepackaged and individually wrapped. The apples and oranges still use their natural wrappings. One thing that I am sure has not changed and that is the message and thought that weaves the smiles from the past to the smiles of the present. I feel, The Christmas seasons of the past held a different message than today , but when you think about it, Christmas seasons today hold a different message than those of yesteryear.

A Merry Christmas to “ALL YA”LL”!!


  1. Really? Ribbon candy? I saw an ad for it on TV last night and said, "Do they still make that?" In first grade, Sister Michael Germaine handed out ribbon candy to deserving children. Then one day, the box was empty, except for a wealth of crumbs at the bottom. She said that the best behaved child would be awarded the box at lunchtime. Later, Emily C___ turned around and asked me to borrow a crayon. When I handed it to her and noticed Sister looking at me I decided that I was bagged. She saw me talking to Emily, so there would be no chance at the box for me. I was so sure that I lost out, that during lunch I had forgotten all about it until Sister swooped down on me with her black habit flying and handed me the treasure of sweet broken pieces! I was a popular kid during that lunch recess!

    Wow Glen, you just resurrected a favorite memory. That in itself is a wonderful Christmas present!

    Merry Christmas...wishing you joy!

  2. Love the remembrance of Paw Paw's sacks! Ribbon candy does look so Christmas to me :)

    Merry Christmas!! Have a wonderful new year full of love, health, laughter, happiness and lots of creative writing :)

  3. I have never in my life had ribbon candy. Apparantly I have been missing something very special! Merry Christmas Glenn.

  4. I love not loving ribbon candy. I love black licorice too. And I loved this memory.

  5. Hadn't thought of ribbon candy in years... and now I miss it!! Dang it!!

  6. Happy holidays to you and yours also..give it time and oranges will come with a health warning..we shouldn't be let out the house alone should we! Ho hum..or ho ho ho!