The semiotics of gift chocolates at Christmas

by | Dec 9, 2022 | Opinion

Receiving chocolates at Christmas time tells you something right off the bat: this person has not given you a great a deal of thought, but has at least made some kind of effort. When discussing what the choice of chocolate tells us about the our relationship to the giver, this is the limited bandwidth we are working with: this person probably does not see you as their soulmate but nor do they actively despise you.

For the purposes of this study we will stretch out the bandwidth of chocolate-expressed sentiment to include the full range of human emotion. All the better to explore the nuances that exist between, say, a box of Cadbury Roses and a tub of Mars Celebrations.

Block of Whittaker’s Creamy Milk:

The person who gave you this respects you but does not neccesarily like you. They would like the relationship that you currently enjoy to continue but has little interest in taking it any further. If the block is the limited edition te reo version and you are of the pakeha persuasion, it is possible that the giver thinks you’re a bit racist and is trying to troll you. Good on em.


Scorched Almonds:

You have made a deep impression on this person. They hold you in the highest esteem. They keep a little notebook under their pillow where they write down all the things you have ever said to them. They do not want to have sex with you. They just don’t see you that way.



Box of Cadbury Roses:

You go through most of your life thinking everything is as it appears, that people are mostly who you think they are, that words and actions mean what you think they mean. Then somebody who you thought was at the very least indifferent to you gives you a box of Cadbury Roses. Turns out they have hated you all along. They may as well have sent a rosewater scented, machine-wrapped turd. A particularly chillng discovery in an office secret santa situation. You may never learn who it is that hates your blameless guts. It could be anyone. Genius.


Chocloate Orange:

This person thinks about you twice a year, no more or less. Once at Christmas time when you are, for whatever reason, among the small group of people this person feels obliged to shop for, robotically and grudgingly. The other time is the morning of their wedding anniversay, when they fleetingly think about the erotic dream you appreared in on the eve of their wedding and the intense sensation of foreboding that dream illicited that they now consider eerily prophetic.


Cadbury Milk Tray:

They think you’re a bit of a pseud and that you’ve gotten a bit above yourself ever since you went off to Wellington for university. They’d like to take you down a peg or two. But they never will. On some level they understand that the resentment they feel towards you is actually displaced self-loathing. To bring those emotions to the surface would be to confront their own intense feelings of inadequacy. So they’ll buy you a box of mid-range chocolates every Christmas and like every third post on your Instagram.


Mars Celebrations:

You’re basic. Your kids are basic. Your job is basic. You’ve got a basic face.




Lindt Gift Box:

Whoa. You had no idea they felt like this. How have they managed to keep the hot embers of their lust so well hidden for so long? It’s a little creepy to be honest. This explains why they always stand a little bit too close and always smell of freshly applied Lynx Africa.




About the Author

David Wrigley

David is a writer and musician from Kemureti/ Cambridge. He has been published in Noble Rot, Nourish Magazine, Turbine|Kapohau, New Zealand Poetry Yearbook, and is currently working on his first novel. He has done his time in restaurants in Aotearoa and the UK. Oh, yes. He has done his time.

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