12/24/2007 11:26 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

The Fruitcake That Keeps On Living

A quirky family Christmas tradition began completely by accident about 15 years ago and believe it or not, it involves a fruitcake.

A real fruit cake: the heavily liquor-laden, fruit dense, and incredibly rich fruit cake that seemingly no one ever eats and nevertheless must be included either on the Christmas buffet or elsewhere in plain view for all holiday visitors. What began as a sweet gesture of good cheer has become a touchstone that Christmas has finally arrived.

Well, after displaying the fruit cake but not consuming it, it was mistakenly packed away in the decoration box, only to be discovered unscathed the next year; we were dumbfounded at the pristine appearance that showed no sign of age or mold! So, at the end of that season, we decided to try it again and then again year after year with no change to the aging loaf. Could we have found one thing in our lives for which time stands still? So far, the fruit cake has won all bets that have been made about its demise. We're now at the 15-year mark, this fruitcake and me. Ok, the cherry no longer looks quite as plump as it did that first year and the promise still stands to toss it at the first sign of any growth or even anything that resembles the word gross. So far, it remains fully intact. Over the years it has lent itself to many a conversation about its history, which in turn causes laughter along with disbelief.

Who would want to throw that experience away?! Don't believe me? Well, what's stopping you from having your very own fruitcake preservation watch and counting the years as they tick by! Happy Holidays and may you have much fruit in your cake!