December 3, 2020


So this morning I wrote about why I need Advent, the real Advent, a real season of preparing my heart for the coming of the Savior. But I don’t mean I want to go about solemn-faced and somber for four weeks. I would have trouble doing that for four minutes. No, I want to enter this time leading up to the great Feast of the Incarnation with repentance, yes, but also with joy.

And there is almost nothing that brings me joy more than …


You know, those fluffy, white concoctions made of sugar, corn syrup, and other healthy things. Marshmallows—those things you plop in your hot chocolate or roast at the end of a stick over a fire. Hot chocolate and fires are wasted if they don’t involve marshmallows.

I could talk about how the root of the marshmallow plant used to be used to heal sore throats, but now it is simply a sugary treat, and I could jump from that to how the Gospel used to have real meaning but now it is just a sugary treat used to entice people from one church to another, but that would be predictable and repetitive. No, I’m talking about things that bring me joy, especially during this holiday season. It does get kind of cold here in Oklahoma, cold enough that a cup of hot chocolate is a welcome drink after an evening’s walk. Or before the walk. Or in place of the walk. I toss a handful of miniature marshmallows into my cup when it is steaming hot so they will melt and make a gooey mustache on my upper lip. I love the colored ones—they make me happy.

There are other simple treats I look forward to at this time of year. Some of these include TV specials:

  • How The Grinch Stole Christmas
  • A Wish For Wings That Work (anyone else remember this?)
  • Anything with the Muppets
And Christmas movies like:
  • Elf
  • Polar Express
  • A Christmas Carol (starring George C. Scott)
  • Anything with the Muppets
And reading Christmas stories such as:
  • James Thurber’s retelling of The Night Before Christmas as if it were written by Ernest Hemingway
  • The Gift Of The Magi by O. Henry
  • Anything with the Muppets
These are “marshmallow treats” to me that I really enjoy this time of year. There is nothing especially healthy about marshmallows, no real purpose to eating them. I just like them. And I just like these TV shows, movies and stories. I don’t try to make anything out of them other than they are enjoyable, like marshmallows.
So, what are some marshmallow treats you enjoy this time of year?


  1. Jeff, a friend of mine was in the Peace Corps in Kazakhstan about 10 years ago and he emailed a request that somebody send him marshmallows so he could make s’mores for the kids he was working with. They had the chocolate and the graham crackers, but nobody over there had heard of marshmallows.

    Imagine a world with no marshmallows!

    This was almost as much of a revelation to me as when I learned that the Japanese word for bread sounds like the Spanish word, “pan”. I was learning Spanish at the time and my instructor said, “Oh, yes, they got that from the Portuguese.” So I asked, “Why would they use a Portuguese word for bread?” And he said that they hadn’t had a word for it. “Why would they not have a word for bread” I asked, somewhat stupidly. The answer, naturally, was “They didn’t have bread!”

    Imagine a world with no bread! Or marshmallows, for that matter.

    • Used to be they didn’t have left-handed people in Japan, either. Their word for “left handed” was adopted from us …”southpaw”. I presume they picked that up from GI’s in occupation after WWII.

      Imagine! …no bread, no marshmallows and no left-handed people. Culturally deprived, I say. 🙂

  2. I said the same thing last year on a similar thread here and I stand by it again this year. The best Christmas movie ever made is Earnest Saves Christmas. Period. No discussion.

  3. “Anything with the Muppets”. Just about everything is better with Muppets.

    • My favorite Christmas movie is a toss up berween “Long Kiss Good Night” with Samuel Jackson and Geena Davis and Bruce Willis’ Die Hard 😀

      So in the spirit of a Bruce Willis Christmas, I’ll close with a “Epeeee Kayee Mother……” 😀 Man I love the Holidays

  4. After a lengthy battle with alzheimers, my father-in-law passed away this morning. He used to really enjoy the home-made Christmas candies and treats my wife makes each year. His favorities were fudge, and divinity with pecans.

    I think I’ll have an extra helping this year in memory of him……

  5. That Other Jean says

    I’m with you on “anything with the Muppets,” but how could you not mention various renditions of “A Christmas Carol” and “It’s a Wonderful Life”? It wouldn’t be Christmas without them!

    Condolences to you and your family on the loss of your father-in-law, Don. I’ll remember him when I’m making peppermint bark this year.

  6. Amen about the muppets. They just bring back so many Christmas memories for me. The Birth of Christ is not complete without them! But how on earth could you forget “A Christmas Story?” Without the taunts of “You’ll shoot your eye out!” it doesn’t feel right to even want something for Christmas. And am I the only one who really enjoys “Scrooged?” Maybe its my generation, but I never get tired of that remake of “A Christmas Carol.” And male choruses singing in Latin. I’m not even Catholic, but they were always played in our household durring the season, and hearing it always makes me feel “christmassy.”

    • I love “Long Kiss Good Night” Some of the best lines that Samuel Jackson has ever had came from that movie…

      In one particular scene a few days before Christmas, Samuel Jackson and Geena Davis are in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Geena Davis is driving Samuel Jackson’s car and they have the following conversation…

      Samuel Jackson “Hey,hey,hey go easy on the driving? Do you know how ot get out of here?”

      Genna Davis “Relax sport….I got out of Beirut once I think I can get out of New Jersey”

      Samuel Jackson “Well don’t get to confident half the population has tried and failed…” 😀

  7. Jeff, you must be very happy that there is a new Muppets movie!

  8. If it gets too cold in Oklahoma, visit the deep South….here in Southern, SOUTH Dakota. We call it the banana belt.

  9. I make my own homemade marshmallows and hot cocoa mix during this time of year. They are both based on Alton Brown recipes (Good Eats) but I perfer to take the credit.

  10. My parents were with the American consulate in Frankfort, Germany, a few years after WWII. One of my father’s co-workers got a desperate call in the middle of the night from an orphanage that the US had been supporting. The nun on the telephone wailed, “Help! One of the children has eaten her bandage!” The baffled American asked enough questions to determine what had happened: in the most recent American care package there were carefully packaged white fluffy things, hermetically sealed. The nun thought they were bandages and put one on a skinned knee. The little patient, though, was far more sensible and figured out that the bandage was a marshmallow and good to eat!

  11. Fluffernutter sandwich – while watching the Muppets Christmas Carol. Fa la la la la!!

  12. Jeff — as a HUGE Bloom County fan, I do remember The Wish for Wings That Work. (“An ALBATROSS! She wanted an ALBATROSS!!!) Long live Opus, Steve, Milo, Cutter John, and all the other denizens of Ma Bloom’s Boarding House!

    My favorite marshmallows are my grandmother’s homemade fudge (the real, long cooking kind from the Hershey’s can and which I have learned to make in her absence), butter cookies, spicy hot pecans, and hot chocolate with a candy cane melted in it. Musically, I love listening to an old collection of Christmas songs that my parents had when we were kids, done by Reader’s Digest. Where else can you hear Lorne Green sing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”? Also enjoy a set of recordings from World War II of old radio Christmas shows and the soundtrack from “A Charlie Brown Christmas” by Vince Guaraldi. For Christmas movies: “Miracle on 34th Street” (the old one), “The Man Who Came to Dinner,” and “Meet Me in St. Louis.” My sister, my mom, my daughter, and I usually watch that on Christmas Eve.

  13. Mashmellows….. aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh. That’s one of the fond memories. Smores at retretas and food fights. Marshmellows can be a vicious tool!! 😉

  14. And who can forget the most extreme use for marshmallows: CHUBBY BUNNY!

    • Seriously Ray…. I wonder if people ever have choked, gone into a coma (I’m not talking about a sugar coma… ) or dealt with medical issues related to chubby bunny. Are there people in a coma today because they ddi that at a retreat. choked and denied the brain oxygen for an extended period of time?

      I wonder…

  15. I’m just glad I don’t have “Althaiophobia” – A fear of marshmallows.