For as long as I can remember, the Christmas fruitcake has been a terrific source of holiday humor. I’ve never actually eaten a fruitcake, but I’ve seen lots of them, including one that I’m pretty sure was made with gummy bears. It’s not just the name that’s hilarious (“Fruit” and “Cake” don’t belong in the same food item), but the physical appearance, too, which looks something like the injection molding for some kind of crude landmine.
Receiving a fruitcake for Christmas may be the ultimate insult. When a friend or relative gives you a fruitcake for Christmas, it’s like they’re saying, “You are so utterly boring that I couldn’t think of a single interesting thing to get you for Christmas, so I defaulted to a fruitcake.” Because when we’re shopping for Christmas presents, the one thing we can all count on is that our friends have mouths. Thus, a fruitcake is never totally irrelevant to a person. It is the least common denominator in the universe of possible Christmas gifts. It’s sort of like giving someone toilet paper. At least you know they can use it and it won’t end up abandoned in some closet 72 hours later after the batteries give out.
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