A ‘Horehound’ Candy Christmas!


In a day and age when overindulgence seems to permeate our Christmas season, I was again inspired by a story told long ago by Marlin K. Jensen about his great-grandfather. Perhaps because I had occasion to meet and interact with Marlin Jensen that the story is more personal to me.  He related this story.

“…as a young boy, my great-grandfather arose one Christmas morning with great anticipation and came down from the loft where he slept to inspect the stocking he had hung by the fireplace the previous night. To his dismay he found what was to constitute his entire Christmas that year—one piece of horehound candy! He was immediately faced with a weighty decision: Should he eat the candy in one glorious burst of flavor, or should he make it last? The scarcity of such delicacies apparently convinced him to make it last. He carefully licked the solitary piece of candy a few times and then wrapped it in tissue paper and hid it under his mattress. Each Sunday thereafter, following dinner, he retreated to his bed, retrieved his treasure, and enjoyed a few pleasurable licks. In that way he nursed the piece of candy through an entire year’s enjoyment.
This is obviously not an account of deeds of heroic proportions. And yet, in these times of overindulgence and excess, it is somehow very inspiring and strengthening to me…” (“The Power of a Good life”, Jensen Marlin, April, GC, 1994)
I once recall my mother saying, “I can’t buy my grandchildren anything; they have it all!”  I’ve now reached her age and I can’t help but think the same thing about my grandchildren. May we enjoy this wonderful season by not getting too caught up in the material things that the world tells us will bring happiness. A ‘Horehound Candy Christmas’ can last a lifetime if we are careful to savor the joy that comes when we catch the true spirit of the season.

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