Controversy at Candy Cane Olympics


By Vicki Scott

After the new year arrived, I reminisced about Christmas Eve and our trip to Gatlinburg while thinking about how competitive my children Eva and Joseph are. That thought inspired a game, which my husband Alan and I discussed during our Gatlinburg trip.

Our little darlings were always competitive. When they were younger, I read a book called The Birth Order by Dr. Kevin Leman. He explained how if the girl is the oldest child, she takes on the first-born role and if the second child is a boy, both compete for that first-born role. I’m paraphrasing from memory, but the fact is that Eva and Joseph com-pete against each other in everything. I had pictures printed of our grandchildren counting each picture in making sure each “grand” had equal time. It turned out that our children counted the pictures that featured their faces. Joseph’s wife was the winner of that contest, so I dodged that bullet!

We enjoyed the Candy Cane Olympics on Christmas Eve. The object of the game was to hold a candy cane in your mouth and hook as many candy canes from a plate and put them in a solo cup. The one with the most candy canes in their cup was declared the winner. Joseph started off fast but was caught holding the cup with this hand, while Eva was using her hand to hold the candy cane steady in her mouth. It was obvious that both wanted to win by any means necessary.

The funny part was watching them both talk smack while trying to steady the candy cane in their mouth. It might be said that Joseph won, but so many things were iffy. It was hard for me to start the clock, and I lost track of time because I was laughing so hard. The grandchildren were watching all of this while mentally preparing for their turn.

I tried to get my brothers to compete, but they declined. I guess 50 is the magic age to calm the savage beast of our family competition. The grands ended up dominating the Candy Cane Olympics by playing rounds until everyone won a game. Joseph and Eva wanted to compete again, but we never got around to it.

The smack continued in Tennessee, however, and I regret not bringing the candy canes. The trip to Gatlinburg seemed to take forever, but with Eva and her girls, it was more fun. We were asked every few miles if we were almost there and how much further we had to go. It sparked memories of our similar trips with Eva and Joseph.

Joseph’s wife and her family plan our annual Gatlinburg and Gulf Shores trips. They stayed in a cabin last year, and it took them about an hour to get to the main area, where they then had to find parking. We were late putting our name on their lodging list and stayed in a lodge walking distance from the main area.

This year, they rented rooms at a nearby lodge, and we all walked everywhere, which was nice. It snowed shortly after we arrived, which added to the excitement. If Eva’s children have been to Gatlinburg, they did not remember. Everything they saw was as if it were their first time, and their looks were priceless.

One would think all that excitement would fade the memory of Candy Cane Olympics, but it did not. I’m keeping the candy canes a little while longer since both children expressed interest in a rematch.

Of course, both declared that they were going to win. Joseph claims he’d already won, but Eva said he cheated, and as such did not win. Joseph said Eva cheated and still won despite that.

The grands were watching the whole time and taking notes.

Hope y’all had a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Stay safe!

Vicki Scott may be contacted at

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