Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Holiday Shopping Guide--Whitman's Samplers

Anybody else grow up thinking a Whitman's Sampler was the height of luxury? Every special occasion called for a big yellow box and everyone in the family had their favorites, and you didn't dare infringe on the individual sampler space(s).

My mother, who is 83, has informed us that all she wants for Christmas this year is, in fact, a Whitman's Sampler. So we will oblige...and hope she insists on sharing!

This, from Time magazine, Dec. 23, 1940:
Just look at the selection of Whitman's chocolates. If you're like me, you've only ever seen the yellow-boxed samplers in stores. And even finding the giant boxes that used to denote the most generous of gifts is difficult.

In my search, I discovered that the old company, Whitman & Son, went through a series of owners and is currently owned by that other famous chocolate boxer-upper, Russell Stover. And while you can't find these:

Chocolate cigarettes! Candy-loaded toys! !!

you can readily find the samplers, although they don't look exactly like this anymore:

But if Whitman's makes you nostalgic, like it does me, check out the Russell Stover Web site. There you can find a few different spins on the sampler, like peanut butter, nut and chewy, along with special boxes, like Peanuts and "the meaning of Christmas." They have a 40 oz sampler! A 9 oz caramel mallows (oooooohhh! aaaaaahhhh!)! Sugar-free samplers! And the neatest, this 100th anniversary sampler in a tin. Unforntunately, that gorgeous tin is sold out... sob...

So for a sweet vintage treat of a gift, how about a Whitman's sampler?

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