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What? No See's chocolates?

     Boy, am I hankering for a box of See's chocolates! The one with the nuts and chews. Bet you didn't know I could eat a whole box full at one sitting. Well, I can if I sit next to it long enough. A one pound box, anyway. Bet you could, too.

     It's January. Early January. This time of year, I'm usually so full of chocolates I've fallen into the dreadfully unhealthy habit of eating pretzels or potato chips when I get the urge for a snack. At this time of year – most years - I can say, "No thank you," when they pass the See's, if they pass it quickly enough.

     But this year, for the very first time, no one gave us See's chocolates for Christmas. Not a single box. So on about the second of January when I wandered into the TV room and glanced at the end table between the two couches, I sensed something was missing. I thought for a moment – and then I knew.

     "I could sure go for a box of See's chocolates," I said. Maybe I'd missed one. Maybe my husband had put it away and forgotten to tell me we got it. But he just smiled.  I checked everywhere, but not a single box of See's. Not even a consolation box of some other brand of chocolates. I sure wanted those See's chocolates, with their little brown paper holders. Chocolates with caramel, chocolates with toffee, the dark sweet chocolate covering clusters of salty nuts. Chocolates with smooth vanilla crème, chocolates with coffee crème, chocolates with sweet raspberry gel.

     Okay, okay. This isn't a commercial. But it is a fact of life. It is the truth. And the end table is important to the story – er, to the truth - because, you see, it seems that every year around Christmas-time we get at least one box of See's chocolates. Some years three or four - and sometimes one of those is a whopping two-pound box. I remember one year we got two five-pound boxes! The end table in the TV room – that's where they all end up.

     At first I put them in the cupboard, safely out of sight. Later, when we're watching the news, I bring them to the TV room to share with my husband and son - and to eliminate those bothersome trips to the kitchen, which cause me to miss important parts of the news. Since I'm very disciplined, I always sit at the far end of the couch, safely away from the chocolates.

     At first I'm really good. I wait a whole five minutes between the first chocolate and the second. I wait another five minutes before I scoot over to help myself to a third and then I pass the box and generously offer the contents – well, some of the contents - to my husband, because I know – I know – if he doesn't eat it, I will. And I really shouldn't. Eat it all, you know.

     By this time, I'm comfortably curled up at the end of the couch – the other end. The end next to the slim white box with a few empty brown rippled paper cups and an assortment of fully occupied wrappers. Sometimes I actually get up and take the box back to the kitchen before all the little brown paper cups are empty. Of course I help myself to a couple more chocolates before I put the box in the cupboard – to save myself another trip to the kitchen.

     So you See, January just isn't January without a half-empty box of See's chocolates on the end table. I've gotta go now - I'm heading down to the mall to get a late Christmas present for a very deserving person. I'm sure he'll be happy to share them with me. Shall I get a box for you, too, while I'm there?

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