Chocolate Gifts

 “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

Now imagine Tom Hanks sitting next to you with a box of chocolates in his lap waiting for the No. 9 bus.  No matter how surreal it may sound, your first thought would be to taste those chocolates. When it comes to chocolates even the most eloquent struggle to explain why they have a big childish grin on their face. It’s the way we are wired. We love gifts and if that gift happens to be chocolates, it feels like Christmas.

That’s why there are so many things you can say with a box of chocolates. When words fail, chocolates do the talking, and a special gift for a certain someone could convey the right message.

The funny thing about chocolate is that it could work as a symbol of love; a token of friendship; an apology or a kind gesture to a stranger. Only chocolate has the power to essentially say ‘I like you and I would like to see more of you in my Future.’ Now chocolate is no one trick pony, it comes in different flavors (as much as 500!). And if you wrap it up in a beautiful box, you know you are making the right statement. More than 50% of Americans prefer chocolate over other flavors, no wonder we consume almost quarter of the world’s chocolate.

And when its holiday season, it becomes a whole lot personal. In fact, this candy works so well as a gift it’s a cause for celebration in itself. Why else would chocolate wrapped in a box taste so rewarding? The box signifies sentiments exclusive for a ‘Mama,’ ‘Bubba,’ ‘Jennay!’ or a ‘Lieutenant Dan’ in everyone’s lives.

If you think you know everything about chocolates, then get a load of the following facts. You may be surprised,

  1. The Japanese like to do it their Way!

Wonder why it’s always the men who give chocolates on Valentine’s Day. Well it’s the other way around in the Land of the Rising Sun. In Japan, Valentine’s Day is celebrated with women giving men chocolates. Flowers and other gifts are far less common and it doesn’t stop there. In fact, women give honmei-choco (“prospective winner chocolate”) to men they care for, and giri-choco (“obligation chocolate”) to men they feel kindly towards. And if women want to really put their hearts (pun intended) into their chocolate gifts, they make the chocolate themselves at home. Now that’s how you make someone feel important. But it’s not all work for the ladies. Men have to return the favor by giving chocolate to women later on White Day (March 14th), a day that was initially promoted by a marshmallow maker until chocolate took over.

  1. Breaking Barriers

During World War II, the U.S. government produced Military Chocolate to simultaneously boost the morale of the Allied Armed Forces as well as provide pocket-sized emergency rations. As for the US astronauts, chocolate has been taken into space as part of their diet. You could definitely put chocolate down as a gift for the soldier and astronaut in your friends and family.

  1. It’s Not only for Valentine

Chocolate has become synonymous with Valentine’s Day. A whopping 48 million pounds of chocolate is consumed on Feb 14 every year. But did you know that Halloween is actually the biggest chocolate eating holiday around with more than 90 million pounds consumed? Easter comes in the middle with 71 million pounds, but only in the US—Australians love chocolate Easter eggs so much it’s their biggest chocolate eating occasion, for both adults and kids.

  1. Victory over Evil

The festival of Diwali (“festival of lights”) is one of the most important religious occasions for a billion strong Hindus worldwide, marking both a new year and a new moon. The festival pays tribute to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and good fortune, and people celebrate it by lighting diyas (traditional clay oil lamps) in honor of the God-Prince Rama’s victory over the evil king Ravana. People commemorate the historic triumph by exchanging sweets but a treat special to the occasion is chocolate molded into the shape of a diya and decorated with chocolate buttons, edible paints and flakes in intricate traditional patterns.

  1. You Got Engaged!

Now it’s time for the ultimate gift a woman could ask for. Just imagine saying, “I got engaged; he proposed with this yummy chocolate diamond ring and I said ‘yes’!” Who wouldn’t? This may be hard to believe, but it’s true—well almost. See, there are such things as chocolate diamond rings. However, the word “chocolate” only applies to the hue of the diamond (it comes from the brown diamond family which includes cognac, clove, honey, cinnamon and champagne). So admittedly there’s no actual chocolate used in the making of these rings, but it’s a funny tongue-in-cheek remark for your gal-pals.

Some say ‘there is nothing money can’t buy’. Chocoholics say “there is not a problem chocolate can’t solve.”

It doesn’t matter if you forgot a birthday or an anniversary; a box of the right chocolate can solve a lot of problems or may be part of the problem, provided you haven’t messed up real bad.