It’s the festive season which can mean only one thing: receiving gifts of Cadbury’s Roses chocolates.

Why Cadbury’s Roses? What have these remarkably unremarkable chocolates done that made them such a popular gift item?

There’s a 1996 Australian romantic comedy called “Dating the Enemy” in which a man and a woman mysteriously switch minds and discover how the other half lives.

In one scene the man’s-mind-in-the-woman’s-body is suffering from PMS and consoles himself by sitting on the couch going through a box of Roses.

Then the woman’s best friend comes in and sees what she’s doing and exclaims, “granny chocolates!” She points out that if you’re going to feel sorry for yourself and pig out on chocolates, Roses are not the ones you do it with.

The experience of receiving Roses as a Christmas gift is summed up nicely here from a long lost World Wide Jeb journal entry (courtesy of the caching powers of Google):

“We had Christmas of course, and don’t you find you’re left over with a truckload of chocolates by the end of the day? Chocolates are that great I-honestly-don’t-know-what-the-hell-to-get-you present. I got 4 boxes of Roses chocolates, and I’ve noticed something. Every single flavour of Roses chocolates sounds like a product from the Body Shop. Take a look at the box next time you eat some Orange Cream, Classic Fudge, the list goes on…”

And that’s what it’s like. You’re so full with Christmas dinner that the mere thought of eating even one tiny chocolate is enough to make you feel sick, so all there is to do is play with the chocolates. Counting up the different flavours, maybe sorting them out into the order in which you’ll eat them.

I was at the supermarket about a week ago and noticed a woman pushing a trolley filled with what looked like party supplies. Adding to the chips, orange juice and beer, she was throwing in about 20 250 gram boxes of Roses chocolates.

I doubt they were going to be party food, so they must have been Christmas presents for some lucky employees. That thought depressed me a little.

Just image having a job where you work really hard all year, putting in some overtime, doing stuff that you weren’t asked to do. Then at the end of the year what recognition do you get? A $7.30 box of boring old granny chocolates.

Giving Roses chocolates isn’t just limited to Christmas. Typical gifts to give your sweetheart have always been roses and chocolates. But Cadbury’s have taken the initiative and named a boxes selection of chocolates Roses. Why shell out $100 for a dozen red roses, when you can pick up a packet of choccies for $10!

Of course, now there are more exotic types of chocolates – even The Warehouse is in on the act stocking semi-exotic Guylian chocolates. But Roses will always be the favourites of the dude who wants to get his girlfriend a present but isn’t sure what to get her (that, and most petrol stations sell them).

So, why Roses? I’m not sure, but given that we listen to songs about snow and winter wonderlands while sweating profusely and watching our skin pinken in the summer sun, I think the act of giving and getting Roses is just more silly season madness.

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