It could be argued that candy night is every night in our household. But when we say it is candy night, we mean we're going to make our own candy and share it with our friends. This is a tradition that we recently re-examined with an academic eye because of Coop's homework assignment to present to his class a family tradition that is carried out at this time of year. We have a lot of traditions that he could have selected but he quickly settled on candy night. (Secretly I am SO glad because it meant more candy.)
As with many families the origin of the tradition was a little unclear. And on the night Cooper decided to interview his grandpa about this tradition we called and called and couldn't reach him. Living in another state as a majority of our family, it's not uncommon for us to be unaware of goings on, so we started calling the family tree. First the oldest sister of my husband, then the second oldest sister of my husband, then the oldest daughter of the second oldest sister of my husband. You see where this is going. No. one. answered.
When someone finally got back to us -- of course a teenage cousin -- we learned that the family was together and they were making candy! What luck.
Cooper's research unearthed some interesting facts and he assembled enough information to give a great oral presentation. But first -- for research's sake -- we held our own candy night. The boys were expert ingredient measurers, nut crushers and chocolate breakers. They were careful to avoid burns by 300-degree sugar and the night was a splendid success.
Then the final question of the assignment came, "Why do you do this tradition?" Ahhhhhh.... why. Why indeed. Well here's the answer: If you receive something we have handmade and hand-delivered you can rest assured we love you. While we may stumble over words of appreciation, announcements of admiration, and communicating our feelings -- we can cook and craft and whip up love in our kitchen. If one day you step out onto your front stoop to find a baby bag with peanut brittle or English toffee tucked inside, don't flinch at its seeming smallness. It's a big gesture of our affection. For reals.