27 November 2018

A Sweet Tradition

Back when I was a child, my parents would give each of us seven kids a book of Life Savers in our stockings each year. This was back when a book of Life Savers contained 10, and later 8, rolls of individually packaged flavors such as Wild Cherry, Mixed Berries, Tangerine, Butter Rum, Root Beer, Cinn-O-Mon, Cryst-O-Mint, Pep-O-Mint, Spear-O-Mint, and our most favorite... Wint-O-Green.

We would quickly break into the packages and dig out the wintergreen candy, then run to the bathroom and, with the lights out, chew the candy in front of the mirror to watch the sparks. It was a Christmas ritual.

Check out those awesome Life Saver snowflakes!!!

Back then, we could buy a roll of Life Savers for a nickle. I think the book of Life Savers was under a dollar. Remember penny candy??? A whole roll of Life Savers for a nickle was such a good deal, and one roll would last so long! ...Unless it was Wint-O-Green.

It's a scientific marvel called triboluminescence.

Now a roll of Life Savers runs about a buck and a half, if you can find one, and the Life Saver books are anywhere from $3 to a mind-choking $6. But these days, a book of Life Savers contains only the five-flavor rolls, and there are only four rolls in the book. The front section of the book now is a piece of heavy paperboard.

Aaaah, the good old days. I recently got the opportunity to spend time with my adoptive grands, and we decorated Halloween cookies. We might not get another chance to get all three or four families together before Christmas, so I shared a favorite Christmas memory with them at the end of the evening.

I bought two packages of Wint-O-Green Life Savers and had the parents turn out the lights after we had distributed candy to each of the 16 kids. I told them to stand in a circle so we could see each other's mouths, then let their eyes adjust to the (not very dark) darkness, and then we all chewed at the same time. I told them about the sparks we loved to watch as kids.

The kids were SO excited!

But nothing happened.

I hadn't tested it before I went to the cookie-decorating party to see if the magic still works. I felt like a heel.

It was time for everyone to go home, so I gave the rest of the Life Savers to the parents and told the kids to try it at home in their bathrooms, with the lights off, looking in the mirror while whey chewed.

The next night, my phone rang, and two of the kiddos called to elatedly and enthusiastically report that it works! They thanked me again for the cookies and the Life Savers, and they told me again and again how cool it was to watch the blue lightning in the mirror!

It was my first phone call ever from any of my grandkids!!!

I think now I'm going to have to teach all 16 of them to build Life Saver trains!

1 comment :

  1. That stinks that it didn't work with everyone there, but great that they called and were excited that they got it to work at home. Yep, everything goes up and up.


Dusty words lying under carpets,
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locked inside, hidden deep from view?
You can talk to me... (Stevie Nicks)

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