Pam Pardy-Ghent: The Sweetest Gifts

There’s a little card that sits on my bedside table at home, a little cute creation my daughter made for me back when she was about five or six years-old. Glued beneath these neatly printed adorable words; ‘Thanks for raisin’ me!’ is a tiny box of Sun-Maid raisins. Back when she presented her gift, she insisted I keep it by my bedside in case I ever woke up hungry in the middle of the night and needed an emergency munch. It’s still there, raisins and all, much too cute of a reminder of her little wee one ways to ever chow down, no matter how hungry I become or how low I fear iron levels have dropped overnight.

 ‘Congrats, you’re old’ 

My daughter isn’t quite so adorably thoughtful in her preteen years, however, though I do embrace her honesty. The card she designed for my 50th birthday this year included the words; ‘I couldn’t be bothered to draw 50 balloons’ (she drew one) and ‘Congrats, you’re old.’ Still, on the kitchen counter when I strolled out that morning was a birthday cake.

While I believe my Mother may have done the work solo on that particular edible gift, my daughter insisted we pose with the sweet surprise as soon as we got out of bed, announcing; ‘here’s your cake! Eat up!’ 

Whether it’s Mother’s Day breakfast in bed – or a bedside ready snack of dried up fruit – birthday cake, anniversary supper out, or my favourite, Christmas cookies, the presentation of food to those we love brings joy to both the giver and the receiver. 

My daughter knows her card – raisins and all – means so much to me that I’ll probably never take it off my nightstand, no matter how outdated the snack-sized pack becomes. 

And my Mom and daughter know that each and every birthday, not only those that end in zeros or fives, requires cake to celebrate. 

It’s that way at Christmas, too. There’s treats and sweets that mean something special to those treasured someones in all our families. Everyone has an uncle who gets a designated rum-soaked fruit cake, iced just so, each and every year. No doubt there’s more dads than mine out there who receive enough Wine Gums, nuts and Liquorice Allsorts to last until Father’s Day. 

Christmas traditions

Nanny gets her Quality Street and Poppy gets his pistachios. It’s just the way things roll. 

And homemade goodies? Well, that’s another category altogether. From Aunty’s eggnog, served with a side of Vienna Sausage and Velveeta on a frilled-tipped toothpick, to a coworker’s homemade bread – we all have Christmas traditions we can’t wait to partake in each and every year. 

With hints for giving, and possible requests for receiving, edible joy this holiday season, we hope our Herald Cookbook is just the ticket to the happiest possible holiday.

Pam Pardy Ghent, The Herald’s Managing Editor, can be reached by emailing [email protected]

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