Review: Curly Canes & What Is Your Gift Opening Policy?

Junk Food Nation, Merry Xmas Eve!  If you celebrate Xmas that is. For everyone else, a continued Happy Holidays! Let’s all eat tons of pie today! PIE!

Like I mentioned yesterday, today’s gonna be my last post until…well, not sure. Just gonna take a little break. But there’s some important stuff we still need to get to:


Today’s random winner from yesterday’s comment contest is:

Meral ([email protected])

Congrats, Meral! – email me your contact info to [email protected] and I’ll get the free coupon in the mail to you!


To win today, we’re gonna keep the comment contest going…COMMENT BELOW. You know the drill – comment and I’ll pick someone to win. Actually, since this is the last Turkey Hill giveaway for the season…I’ll pick multiple winners.  I’m not gonna say how many for now…I’ll decide later. Here’s what I want you to comment on:


I’m rehashing this topic (and text) for like the third or fourth time, but so what? I’m fascinated. The question is: “When do you open gifts?” The usual suspects:

1) Opening gifts the night of Christmas Eve. For people who want nothing to do on Christmas morning. You just wanna wake up to a mess of wrapping paper and say, “….anyone wanna go see a movie?”

2) Opening one gift Christmas Eve, and the rest Christmas morning. This is for parents who need to placate their screaming children who are hopped up on Pepsi and cookies and will not stop yammering about presents. HERE TAKE ONE GIFT AND OPEN IT, YOU LITTLE MONSTER! NOW GO TO SLEEP!

3) Wait until midnight when it’s “technically” Christmas, and open presents then.  I remembering doing this a bunch when I was a kid.  This is for parents who are too tired to fight children who are trying to be lawyers when they are 12 years old. “Well, mom, TECHNICALLY it IS Christmas now!” Yeah, and technically you’re a nerd. Like I said, I pulled this stunt often.

4) Wait until Christmas morning. The traditional gift-opening time, if you can pull it off. Works on little kids who still believe in Santa. Doesn’t work on kids who are over the whole Santa thing, and who are asking, “So wait, are we waiting til Christmas morning to open presents out of conformity?? FIGHT OPPRESSION!” Calm down, buddy.

Of course, I realize this only applies to people who celebrate Christmas, so I imagine for those who celebrate Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Festivus/etc., there might be other gift-giving-opening rules as well!  I wanna know those too.

So below, please comment and tell me, whatever religious/spiritual background you celebrate, what the gift giving/opening policy in your household was!

TODAY’S JUNK FOOD: Curly Canes!!

Curly Canes

Curly Canes: The Money Shot

I posted a photo of these Curly Canes on my Instagram earlier this month, and finally I went and bought them. “Delectable Dessert Flavors” huh? These better be. Still, I do like the extended curl on this Curly Canes…that’s fun.

Curly Canes

Curly Canes

Curly Canes come in Key Lime Pie, Cherry Pie, Banana Cream, and Strawberry Shortcake flavor.  I like all of these flavors. I’m probably most interested in the Key Lime flavor, since I LOVE citrus-y pie.

Curly Canes

Curly Canes

Curly Canes have 60 calories per cane and are apparently only made of sugar, sugar, artificial flavors and food coloring. Um….yikes.

Curly Canes

Curly Canes

I tried all of these Curly Canes, and I have to be honest – I hated them. Like, I really did not like these…at all. I’m sorry, company-who-made-these.  Let me break it down:

Key Lime Pie: I got a slight lime flavor when I first sucked on this cane, but it faded very quickly and never reached the level of citrus that I wanted from a key lime flavor.  Really disappointed with these.  I hoped the flavor would get stronger as the candy went on, but no. It dissipated and was gone.  Boo.  Fake lime flavor – NO.

Cherry Pie: Not as big of a fail, but this tasted like a plain cherry lollipop….like a standard cherry flavoring that didn’t really remind me of cherry pie.  Like the key lime, it also faded very quickly until I was just sucking a sugar stick.  Lame.

Banana Cream: Interestingly, this was the best flavor of all four.  The banana flavor, while artificial, reminded me of the same type of artificial banana flavor I was used to in other goods.  So it wasn’t that foreign.  It also had a decent butterscotch flavor, which reminded me of the cream inside of a banana cream pie.  The whole thing was still sort of fake tasting, but if I was grading success of flavor, this would be at the top of the pile of four.

Strawberry Shortcake: UGH NO. I’m not even sure what this flavor is/was, but it was NOT STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE, much less strawberry at ALL. NO. NOOOOOOO.  This one was awful.

I might’ve been willing to give these canes a pass if they had a good texture, but they weren’t nice and glass-like like normal candy canes…they were sort of soft and crumbled into weird plastic-y sugar pieces.

Look, there’s a reason these only cost $2, and I’m sure the makers of these canes weren’t trying to make a gourmet product…but if you want my opinion: AVOID.

Huh, a negative review on Christmas Eve. Weird.

ANYWAYS – I hope everyone has a great holiday season!  Comment below on the topic above, and I’ll see you on the flip side!

PURCHASED AT: Safeway, Waterfront Metro, DC

COST: $2.00 on sale

Thoughts? Please comment below or hit me up on Twitter @junkfoodguy or LIKE my Facebook Page and message me there. I also have Google+!! Let’s hang out.


Junk Food Guy

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Discuss - 26 Comments

  1. Jessica says:

    I always got to open one gift on Christmas eve, It was always picked out by my significantly older sisters and it was almost always a major letdown – probably by intention.

    Now, it doesn’t matter. My BIL’s family are Christmas Eve celebrators, so my niece and nephew get to open the gifts from that side Christmas Eve and our side Christmas Day. And the adults don’t care anymore!

  2. Christeen says:

    We open presents Christmas morning. Everyone has to be awake. One year our oldest woke up at 3am. And yes we opened presents. We all crashed around 7am for a nap that year.

  3. Indigo says:

    I think Christmas gift opening when I was a child was Christmas morning, and nobody was up at midnight the night before to give any of that nerd technicality lip. When I was older, it took place whenever visiting adults could all be present which might not have been till Christmas evening (so it was good I had lost the frantic greed of my youth). Gift opening across the years was strictly supervised by my mother. Everyone was to open one gift at a time while everyone else watched appreciatively. No chaos allowed.

    Now it’s not an issue…I don’t have kids and I’ll spend the day alone, which for an introvert can actually be a good gift!

    • Kelly says:

      This is the same practice my family has always had – one gift opened while everyone watches and then the gift is passed around and appreciated. It would often take 3 hours to open presents from start to finish. I attended one of the free-for-all present opening sessions at my in-laws one year and it was awful! Nobody had any idea what anyone else got and you were unable to appreciate someone opening the present you picked out for them.

  4. MP says:

    I celebrate Festivus. But when I was a kid, I opened presents on Christmas morning. I really wasn’t into toys per se, just stuff like books, clothes & sports equipment. Tho when I was 12, I was especially greedy for some reason & that pissed my parents off (it was also during a recession). So they put this present under the tree on like December 10th & kept pointing at it & said I was really going to love it. Xmas morning & they save it for last. The fact that they got the camera out should have made me suspicious but I was a dumbass kid. It was heavy & I opened it – it was just a big ordinary rock with “Merry Christmas” painted on it. They photographed my reaction & were laughing loudly. I had no reaction & soon realized my parents were teaching me a lesson. Suffice to say, I became a man that day & stopped caring about Christmas (not that I was really into it much anyway). When the Seinfeld Festivus episode came out many years later, you have idea how much that scratched me right where I itch 🙂

  5. kris says:

    We open most gifts on Xmas eve but save the ones to from relatives we don’t see till Xmas day dinner to open with them.

  6. Sarah says:

    I’ve always opened gifts on Christmas day. As a kid, we opened the gifts then had dinner (lunch time frame, I don’t think we called it supper). These days the family sits and chats, then has dinner and then opens presents. No children so I guess that’s why we wait. It works for me, we sit and chat and eat, then gather together for the gifts.

  7. Liz S. says:

    My gift opening policy = wait until the whole family is together on Christmas morning. Been the tradition for as long as I can remember, and I love it that way.

  8. JohnnyP says:

    We did one small thing on Christmas Eve. The best present which was supposedly left by Santa, was left by the fireplace in the morning.Then the ones under the tree were saved for last after we came home from my grandmothers where we went for brunch with other family members and ate homemade tamales, eggs, potatoes, and of course a bunch of cookies and junk

  9. Elisa says:

    #4 is what I’ve grown up with and prefer it that way. It’s fun to see everyone busting open their gifts together.

    Merry Christmas one and all! 😀

  10. Alexis says:

    We do the traditional open on Christmas sha-bang. That morning breakfast is made followed with coffee my dad can make from our Starbucks machine (No psl up in here). Then presents. Sometimes people don’t always wake up so we wake them up specially. After all the presents are ope we all go back to ignoring each other.

  11. alek says:

    I’m Jewish and for Hanukkah we would exchange gifts but I would not open the gifts that I receive until the last day of Hanukkah. My family would also give out presents on new years eve because it like Christmas in exchange. I would not know the gifts until I find out in the party.

    As for the candy canes bummer they sounded promising!

  12. HKD says:

    As a kid we were primarily Christmas morning but sometimes if my Dad was feeling especially benevolent he would allow for one minor gift opening on Christmas Eve. Now that we’re all grown up things are a bit different. I spent Christmas Eve with my sister & her kids and we exchange gifts that night. It’s mostly about watching her kids open presents — but they’re getting old now and it’s not quite so fun anymore but we still open presents. Christmas morning is me & the husband (no kids) and we open stockings over coffee and breakfast and then open gifts to each other after that but before my Mom & a different sister arrive for mid-day snacks/gift opening. All this wraps up when his Dad and brother come over for dinner. That would involve gift opening except they are no-nonsense boys so for years it was just a check exchange and now we’ve even abandoned that so it’s just dinner and cookies. I like this new method because it really stretches out the gift giving for as long as possible.

  13. cybele says:

    Aw, we mentioned those on Candyology 101 and I was hoping they’d be good. Though it sounds like banana might be okay. Seems like they could figure a way to make those for Easter … call them new palm fronds or something.

    Anyway – most of the time when I was a kid there would be one gift on Christmas eve, but mostly because Christmas day was spent in the car shuttling between two sets of grandparents and the item chosen to open was usually related to what we might be wearing or perhaps distracting ourselves with.

    As an adult (with no kids of my own) sometimes we still do the Christmas Eve thing, but usually if there’s an event or reason that something should be opened early … like maybe a waffle iron that needs to be set up in the morning to make Christmas waffles.

  14. John R. says:

    Growing up, I’ve always waited until Christmas morning to open gifts. Of course, that was always after peeking in the not so off-limits hiding spots to see what I was getting in advance.

    Now, as an adult, I generally do open up the small stocking stuffer gifts on the night of Christmas Eve, and open up the real gifts on Christmas Day. Opening/exchanging them all in the morning with the exception of one, leaving that final gift to open as part of the Christmas nightcap.

  15. Heather says:

    When I was a kid, we’d open presents from extended family on Christmas Eve and then gifts from immediate family and Santa on Christmas morning. These days my distant relatives don’t usually get to come into town and we just mail each other gift cards. It’s usually Christmas afternoon before my immediate family opens anything. Sleeping late is a fantastic Christmas present for any adult!

  16. Jamie says:

    Everything waits until Christmas morning! It’s my duty as the youngest to climb under the tree and pass all of the presents out first and then we go at it and open them all. I save my stocking for last. One other tradition is that my mom puts out presents gradually, so like the week leading up to Christmas we’d get a few presents under the tree for us to shake and try to guess.

  17. Eilish says:

    Always open one on Christmas Eve, and the rest on Christmas. Usually it’s a big present Christmas Eve, like an ipad or a tv or something.

  18. Collin says:

    As a kid, we never got presents. We ran downstairs in the morning to find a Christmas tree with nothing under it, then with sad hearts we went the kitchen to find a half drinken bottle of egg nog and leftover candy canes we snatched up from our school holiday party. Where we got our Christmas spirit was from all the Christmas special rerunning each day. As for the question, wait till Christmas morning to open presents.

  19. Sparky says:

    I remember we used to do one present on Christmas Eve night when I was a kid. Stockings were fair game if you got up early but everything else had to wait til everyone was up Christmas morning.

    Today as adults (I actually live with my brother and my dad comes over for holidays so I’m still literally talking about the same people) we kinda don’t give a spit. We just open what presents there are between dinner and dessert. 😛 I guess its kind of sad.

    Although I have a parrot and its fun to watch her get all excited over new toys and wrapping paper to shred so I guess there’s that? We usually wait til the next day to giver her her presents.

  20. Cara James says:

    Christmas morning. It never even came to mind to question it, I guess that’s why I’m not a lawyer lol. I hope you have wonderful holidays, I love your blog.

  21. Trainor Lei says:

    Dude, I do it Christmas afternoon, or whenever the heck everyone decides they want to do it. But, we still have to wait twenty minutes after we decide to open gifts ‘case the camera isn’t set up, we can’t find the dog, the cat won’t get out from the tree, I can’t find my durn jingle bell pants, I can’t find my durn jingle bell hat–it goes on and on.

  22. Jes says:

    For hanukkah it’s one gift a night usually the biggest gift on the last night

  23. Shorneys says:

    We always opened a big-ass pile of presents of Christmas Eve. Then Santa would come at midnight and we’d open a big-ass pile of presents on Christmas morning.

    We were spoiled little fuckers for sure.

  24. patti says:

    One present on Christmas Eve and the rest on Christmas morning

  25. jwoolman says:

    I think we waited until Christmas morning when I was a kid, but as adults went over to Christmas Eve. Then there was that infamous Christmas morning when I was 8 or 9 – came downstairs to find the usually dignified cat stretched out on his back under the tree, drunk as a skunk. He had found my carefully wrapped present for him, a big knitted catnip ball, and ripped it open early. He stayed plastered all day. Never saw a trace of the catnip and not much left of the ball. Lesson learned: don’t leave hallucinogens unguarded under your tree.

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