New Hampshire Brothers Have Been Regifting the Same Hard Candy for 30 Years

by Victoria Santiago

We’ve all regifted a present here and there. However, two brothers in New Hampshire have been regifting the same present for over 30 years. The gift? Hard candy. Specifically, a 10-roll Frankford “Santa’s Candy Book” with assorted fruit colors.

The hard candy was first gifted in 1987 when Ryan Wasson gave it to his brother Eric for Christmas. It was supposed to be a joke gift because Ryan knew that Eric didn’t like it. Obviously, Eric didn’t eat the candy. In fact, he kept the candy all year so he could give it back to Ryan at Christmas. Ryan thought his brother would’ve forgotten about it by then, but he immediately recognized the present.

Since then, the two brothers have exchanged the candy annually. They’ve kept a log of all the ways they’ve regifted it- the two brothers get creative with the present. According to Ryan, the candy has been frozen in an ice block, put in Jell-o, and even sewn into a teddy bear.

They include their friends and family in the antics, too. Even the sheriff’s department has been involved in their gift exchange. Last year, Ryan got the joke gift served to him on a silver platter while out at a restaurant.

This year is Ryan’s turn to give the present to Eric. He asked a group on social media for ideas on how to deliver the fit. There were a lot of funny suggestions – some said that he should have it delivered via pizza delivery. Others said that Christmas carolers should hand the gift to Eric. Hiding it in a cake or book was also mentioned. Or, he could even host a scavenger hunt for the hard candy, complete with clues.

Hard Candy Shortages Around Christmastime

Those two New Hampshire brothers might be saving themselves a lot of stress this year by regifting Santa’s candy. Thanks to a decade-long decline in peppermint production and a run-of-the-mill pandemic supply chain issue, there’s a shortage of candy canes this year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says that peppermint production has been consistently declining over the last decade, except for 2019. The candy has been hard to come by this year, and it’s a hot commodity for the stores that do have them.

Peppermint production declined from 6.57 million pounds in 2011 to 4.98 million pounds in 2020. That’s a staggering drop of 1.59 million pounds.

For one New York City candy store, this year is the first year that they’ve ever run out of the holiday staple. The store has been in business since 1937. Candy canes have been around for 350 years or so. For most of that time, they’ve been a classic holiday treat. They’ve had their fair share of changes, though. As a matter of fact, the first candy canes didn’t even have stripes on them – they were purely white. It wasn’t until later that their iconic red stripes were developed.