Traditional Christmas treats are the perfect way to ignite holiday spirit


Josh Sullivan

Grocery stores stock up on holiday treats as the Christmas season rapidly approaches.

Josh Sullivan, Staff Writer

The holiday season brings new shows, movies, meals, desserts, and festivities each year. Many people put up ridiculous lights to attract the attention of passersby or neighbors; others compete in bake-offs to prove that their Christmas treats are superior. The Christmas season offers a bountiful amount of delicacies and delights to snack on to boost holiday anticipation.

Traditionally, cookies are the main way to ignite the holiday spirit. The pre-made, stick in the oven and bake sugar cookies with smiley snowmen have been a consistent favorite among my family and friends during the holidays, so this treat was the first on the list. Though the cookies seem unexciting and bland, they will melt in your mouth when fresh out of the oven. While these sugar cookies are exceptional right out of the oven, they lose their pizazz and flavor the longer they sit out. I highly recommend these treats if you plan to finish them within the first 15 minutes; however, if you plan to eat them over a few days, another type of cookie will be much more preferable.

Another delectable holiday treat on the list was my grandma’s homemade peppermint bark. This dark chocolate and peppermint crunchy dessert serves as a delicacy – I thoroughly enjoyed the snack; however, it is not a dessert that I’d eat in abundance. The bark itself is rough; not only does the peppermint and chocolate mix to make a crunchy texture, but it is difficult to break with your hands and doesn’t crumble to dust when you bite it. This treat offers a substitute for people who are tired of eating pure dark chocolate by adding in a touch of holiday spirit; peppermint bark is a perfect indulgence for the Christmas season. 

Making and decorating gingerbread houses with friends and family or eating gingerbread men fresh out of the oven are many family’s favorite activities during the holiday season. This lip-smacking treat is perfect for a snowy day when you want to stay in and bake something warm. Gingerbread shares a similar texture to banana bread or pumpkin bread when it’s baked with the intention to eat like real bread; however, when it is baked for the purpose of gingerbread houses or gingerbread people, the texture is comparable to that of a biscuit or a cookie. Whether you are cheffing up simple gingerbread to eat or building and decorating gingerbread houses, this snack is a somewhat healthier holiday alternative to substitute the sugar-filled cookies and other desserts you can make any time of the year. 

The next treat on the list can spark some debate as to how you eat it and what it symbolizes, but I’m focusing on the most basic aspect of the food: how does the candy cane taste? As you would expect, the first taste of the candy cane is filled with peppermint – this peppermint is strong and lasts as you eat the whole candy cane, unlike some candies where the taste fades the longer you eat it. Personally, I don’t enjoy filling up on minty treats so I wouldn’t be able to eat more than one of these at a time; however, if you have a sweet tooth for peppermint, this holiday treat is perfect for you. 

The final Christmas themed treat I tasted was Rice Krispie wreaths. These treats are particularly festive as they are colored green and have red-hots on the front replacing ornaments as an edible decoration, accurately portraying a real-life wreath. The wreaths don’t differ in taste from a normal Rice Krispie treat; however, the added red-hots made it seem like a different snack altogether. Though it is dependent on how many red-hots the baker uses, I think they transform it from a traditional Rice Krispie treat into a festive Rice Krispie wreath. 

Though 2020 has been filled with unquestionable turbulence, eating these treats has brought lightheartedness, happiness and festivity in the shadow of a pandemic. As we are sitting at home most days wondering what to do with our spare time, I found that baking these delectable snacks is the perfect way to pass the hours and ignite the holiday spirit!