one year my friend asked me what i wanted for Christmas. i said a beef stick. that was all i wanted.
during the decembers of my childhood my family would make frequent trips to hickory farms. there we would sample and buy the finest assortments of soups and sausages, crackers and cheeses that were available to our sodium hungry hearts. for me, no Christmas dream was left unmet in that store for i knew that when i was at hickory farms i had found both peace on earth and goodwill towards men.
it was a big deal for us every year to pick out the gift boxes that would head back to my paternal grandmothers in ohio. the choices! the choices! if you ever get such a gift from someone know that you are loved -- the decent boxes go for at least $50.
our family would always receive at least one large box from one of my dad's coworkers every year. i appreciate old school friends like that. skip the sugar cookies and send me summer sausage, every time. it was usually the week before Christmas when he would come home bearing that flat carboard box that every child knows contains the true meaning of christmas. from that night until the end of the holiday season we would gayly feast on the tiny (and processed) cheeses, slice lovingly into the assortment of sausages, and suck through the hard candy coating on a precious supply of strawberry candies to get to the gooey goodness inside.
to get back to my original story, my friend didn't give me a summer sausage that Christmas. she got me something else. i can't remember what, but i'm sure it was nice. the moral of the story, however, is that if you can make someone's holiday dreams come true with a $15 beef stick, do it.
and if you think your tastes are so refined that you can't enjoy a nice summer sausage, well, then pin a rose on your nose and have a merry Christmas.