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Holiday books need side of chocolate

Burt's Eye View

The post warmed me more than a mug of hot chocolate:

“In Iceland, books are exchanged on Christmas Eve, then the tradition is to spend the rest of the night reading and eating chocolate.”

I don’t know if this is true, but it sure ought to be.

Which books should we give? Mine, obviously.

Hey, it’s my Christmas fantasy, so I get to decide the pages to be smeared with chocolate fingerprints. Click onto your favorite online bookstore, search for novels by Burton W. Cole, and order bunches. You will have a merry Christmas — and so will I.

Now let’s handle the chocolate. The annual survey from our friends at wholesaler CandyStore.com said the No. 1 Christmas candy here in Ohio is the red-, green- and silver-foiled Hershey Kisses. It’s like having a bowl of popcorn, only tastier.

No. 2 is Pez, followed by peppermint bark. (I’d scoff at Pez as a Christmas candy, but this was the season when little Burton scored the most new Pez dispensers in shapes like the Batman, Yogi Bear and Secret Squirrel. Toys count as candy.)

Next door in Pennsylvania, Keystone State folks go for Reese’s Cup Minis, followed by candy canes and reindeer corn.

Ben George, content strategist, said CandyStore.com’s interactive map shows these trends:

• Reese’s Cups might be on the decline.

“Reese’s Cups lost three No. 1 spots this year,” George said. “Two of the spots they lost were to the hard-charging popularity of peppermint bark (California and Texas), and the other was lost to Hershey Kisses (Illinois).”

• Snickers and chocolate Santas are on the rise in popularity.

“Snickers also picked up three No. 1 one spots this year, capturing hearts in Vermont, Arkansas and Georgia,” George said. “Santa Claus is coming to towns all over North Dakota, Maine and New Mexico, where they knocked off the likes of previous top holidays candies such as Reese’s Cups and candy canes.”

• Peppermint bark reached the No. 1 spot in 11 states, the most of any candy. Reese’s Minis were next with the top spot in nine states.

Peppermint bark simultaneously made the list of the worst Christmas candy, ranking ninth-worst, between ribbon candy and nonpeppermint candy.

Consumers surveyed ranked cherry cordials (my dad’s favorite) as the worst Christmas candy, followed by Christmas nougats, Lifesavers Storybooks, reindeer corn, Peeps, chocolate oranges and the old-fashioned hard candy mix.

I remember that crazy hard candy mix being dumped into fancy dishes every year. Nobody touched it. Finally, along about February, you could pinch one piece of hard candy and the whole stuck-together glob would come up with it.

The moral of the story? Fill your bowls with Christmas M&Ms or Snickers or Reese’s Minis. Always go with chocolate.

A final thought: Connecticut and Hawaii, Starbursts, your No. 1, are NOT Christmas candies nor are they chocolate. The same goes to you, Florida, with your Skittles.

Also, remember to pair books with chocolate — my books, of course. It’s still my Christmas fantasy. Bon appetit and enjoy the stories.

— Check out the chocolate survey at https://www.candystore.com/blog/holidays/christmas-candy-popular-states/. Find Cole at burtseyeview@tribtoday.com, the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook or @BurtonWCole on Twitter.

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