How the Grinch Stole Our Jell-O

Dear Mom,

Every year for the past ten (well, probably more like the past thirty) years you have brought the Jell-O molds to Thanksgiving feast and Christmas brunch. Oh, how we look forward to your perfectly layered fluffy mandarin-orange creation and that green wobbly lime pineapply wonder that you mold to look like a volcano.

And I have loved that you love to make the molds because, frankly, Mom, I stink at Jell-O molds. And I rely relied on you to add colorful joy to our table.

Sadly, I’m writing today to let you know, you’ve been fired.

The Jell-O was a flop this Thanksgiving. If I had served it, I would have had to serve it with straws. I suspect you became confused while making it and forgot to add the cup of boiling water. I sat at the table with a lump in my throat thinking how I hate that the Alzheimer Grinch has robbed us.


Years ago the Alzheimer’s Grinch stole your ability to mix and knead the dough for grandma’s cardamom dinner rolls and so we fired you from that job. Then, the Alzheimer’s Grinch stole your ability to mix and knead the Christmas yule kaga so we fired you from that job, too.

Then it was the spritz cookies, the Norwegian butter cookies, and your mother’s thumbprint cookies.

This year, the Alzheimer’s Grinch has struck again. It breaks my heart that the simple directions for mixing Jell-O with water have become too bewildering for you. So, I’m putting you in charge of bringing the kisses. Chocolate or real. Both, preferably.

But, don’t fret. Christmas will still come without the warm cardamom rolls and your fruity yule kaga. And, yes, even without your orange Jell-O. We’ll still have lights and toys and a feast. You can even watch as we carve the Christmas roast beast.

We can still sing Happy Birthday to the baby Jesus without any Jell-O at all and our hearts will grow three sizes larger just knowing you are still with us.

But this Christmas our table will be less jolly, less colorful, and less playful without your wonderful Jell-O creations.

With much love,

Your oldest daughter.

(The one you couldn’t recognize on the phone yesterday.)



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