12 Dec2011

Unbridled excitement. Inspiring awe and amazement. Spine-tingling joy. A huge smile and perhaps feigned shock. This is what I was going for with this holiday sweets table that is meant to make relatives and guests, young and old, smile and abandon any prohibitions on sugar and calories. The idiom “a kid in a candy store” is one I can relate to very well. It’s that look and feeling that overcomes a young child when first confronted by the selection in a fabulous candy store. And if accompanied by an indulgent aunt or uncle, who tells you to pick whatever you want, the moment is burned into your memory tracks forever. As we grow older, a more subdued version of it might occur in a Ferrari showroom, a jewelry shop, or whatever suits your fancy. At the Vatican once, Mrs. MM saw a whole group of Sisters hurrying to the gift shop to check out the holy water and rosaries, and she commented… “this must be like the Disneyland equivalent for nuns…” :)

The large oval narra table is set with several silver trays. Lots of crystal and glass bowls, vases and containers are set about the display. Glass jars, empty tins, wrapped jams and jellies all vie for space… Three white butterfly orchids are placed at back center.

The selection is anchored by the peppermint candies. Candy canes, hooked or curved, large and small or straight like sticks. Peppermint sticks dipped in chocolate. Giant sticks large enough to hurt someone. Foil wrapped peppermint Andes candies…

Gold coins and foil wrapped chocolates in the shape of Santas, balls, (NOT Santa’s balls), and bells… :)

Some wrapped Marketman jams and jellies, at the ready for Christmas gift giving…

In a large old apothecary jar (hopefully one that didn’t display a brain in formaldehyde), rest these medium sized hershey’s kisses in special Christmas foil garb…

…in another jar, some boxed guylian chocolates, and nearby a pannetone wrapped in brown foil that some friends sent our way. In the lower right hand corner are a trio of individual sized guava jellies that are also wrapped up for presents to give out…

How could you resist classic butterfinger, kit kats, milky ways, snickers bars in single bite servings and wrapped up in holiday foil? I know, I am a sucker for the packaging…

I managed to find old-fashioned caramels…

…lollipops with tootsie roll centers encased in peppermint hard candy shells…

…Dove milk chocolate in Hanukkah blues and silvers…

…and twisted mints in a small cookie jar. Holiday tins of all shapes and sizes are at the ready, and hopefully I will get around to cooking several batches of cookies, pili nut brittle, brownies, biscotti, etc. which will be canned and given out as well.

We leave small glassine or clear bags and ribbons on the table, so that guests can take what they want, wrap it all up and leave with a goody bag of their choice. And this is only 2/3 or so of the selection that will eventually be on offer as the holiday parties get closer. I know this may seem a bit excessive, but in the scheme of things, one could be even more extravagant. A couple of boxes of good La Maison du Chocolat nibbles would probably cost more than this entire table. And I promise you, the look of excitement on children’s faces will more than make up for the financial implications… By the time we get to the crew Christmas Party just days before Christmas, the kids and guests will be wondering before they get to our house what surprise might be on hand for them to experience. Often it’s the gingerbread, sometimes the novelty of real pine trees, the decor, and every few years or so, an overdose of sugar. :)

Unfortunately, because of the unseasonably warm weather, the chocolates can’t stay out all day long, and we have to set this table up before guests drop by. And tonight, after doing just that, in order to take these photos, I chose a single little treat to indulge in before dinner. And just look at the quote inside the foil wrapper… isn’t that just amazingly appropriate?! Happy Holidays!



  1. Ellen says:

    Goodness! Such a wonderful spread!

    Dec 12, 2011 | 8:11 pm


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  3. Meg Abalos Mationg says:

    just like Willie Wonka’s factory, only better with all the Christmas goodies :) Thanks for this post MM!

    Dec 12, 2011 | 8:29 pm

  4. Kasseopeia says:

    Clear plastic bags with holiday candy and tied up with a ribbon – my favorite type of Christmas giveaways. No offense to those who choose to take this route, but who needs another scented candle? Candy is almost always welcome. Hyuk hyuk…

    Dec 12, 2011 | 8:45 pm

  5. rosedmd says:

    WOW!! yummy sweets!!

    Dec 12, 2011 | 9:03 pm

  6. Avic says:

    I was imagining myself in front of those goodies while reading this post, MM! Happy Holidays to you and your family!

    Dec 12, 2011 | 9:27 pm

  7. Anne :-) says:

    WOW! Candy wonderland….I hope I can get my hands on that kalamansi marmalade…they’re good!!

    Dec 12, 2011 | 10:00 pm

  8. Elizabeth says:

    I’ve always loved those peppermint candy canes! Such sweet memories of many happy times during Christmas! Mr. MM, hope you get well soon! Thanks for all the posts and stories! Happy Holidays!

    Dec 12, 2011 | 10:25 pm

  9. DJ says:

    Mr. MM — honestly, i am misty eyed … because i cannot eat those chocolates and candies to my heart’s content anymore!!! i was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and i am in medication and will continue to be on a strict diet. i am only beginning life (i just turned 40) to be deprived with those. life is unfair, really! … hu hu hu

    Dec 12, 2011 | 10:39 pm

  10. lee says:

    Oh my Blood!

    Dec 12, 2011 | 11:41 pm

  11. tonceq says:

    And that is how you decimate a dieter’s willpower! I can help you with your climate problem by taking some of those wonderful chocolates off your hands. I’m currently pondering the possibility of eating a medium sized kisses in one mouthful…

    “Santa‚Äôs, balls,” I knew you couldn’t resist ! :)

    Dec 13, 2011 | 12:02 am

  12. Papa Ethan says:

    Old fashioned caramels!! Yummy! Reminds me of my…. past. :-)

    Dec 13, 2011 | 12:11 am

  13. PITS, MANILA says:


    Dec 13, 2011 | 12:46 am

  14. cwid says:

    Glad to see you’re back. Needless to say, you were missed.

    To be a child again and to have my energy going fast enough to burn all that sugar — your table of sweets will be pure heaven for me.

    Dec 13, 2011 | 1:53 am

  15. scramoodles says:

    i want to sneak my hand into one of those jars! pwede mag-caroling sa inyo MM? :)

    Dec 13, 2011 | 3:23 am

  16. atbnorway says:

    I am not in for too much candy, but I would like to have such an impressive spread of sweets. It is so lovely to look at…Pero may paborito ako noon, White Rabbit caramel candy…hmmm…

    Dec 13, 2011 | 4:14 am

  17. eustressor says:

    Wow! What a way to spread holiday cheer! You are so right about creating wonderful long lasting Christmas memories for the young ones =)

    Happy Holidays MM Family and Crew!

    Dec 13, 2011 | 6:48 am

  18. Betchay says:

    Can I be invited too? I’d like to get my hands on those yummy jams and jellies! MM, stay away from those sweets…..it’s not good for your cough and colds! :) But despite your illness your humor is still there…..Santa’s balls indeed! Ha!ha!ha!

    Dec 13, 2011 | 7:31 am

  19. m says:

    So generous, MM! Pics remind me of my visit to Dylan’s candy bar in NYC. Sweet heaven! Merry Christmas!

    Dec 13, 2011 | 8:18 am

  20. linda says:

    Only Marketman could and would put out an impressive spread like this to share, WOW!

    Can I gatecrush?

    Dec 13, 2011 | 8:20 am

  21. ami says:

    I spy Guylian chocolates which were my favorite as a kid. If I were to be invited to your house, I’d be making a beeline for that. I love the candy table idea and I think it is very creative.

    Dec 13, 2011 | 9:03 am

  22. resagirl says:

    DJ do not weep because we are on the same boat. I’m 31, with DM 2 and triglycerides 3x the normal range. This Christmas I thank the Lord for the Love and favor that at least no complications yet and able to be with my hubby and son. GOD has been so good to me and I could not ask for more except for the gas range hehehehe. Cheers & Merry Christmas

    Dec 13, 2011 | 9:40 am

  23. millet says:

    oh my..oh my..oh my….that was me while going over this post! leave me by the table and come back for me at easter (in time for the easter candies!)

    am still laughing over Mrs. MM’s comment about the nuns, and about Santa’s balls. and if i was the one who got that beautiful quote, i’d open and eat the rest just in case there were other wonderful messages there, too ;-)

    Dec 13, 2011 | 9:53 am

  24. Jaja Solis says:

    Oh my!!!! candies and chocolates galore! I feel my blood sugar spurting upwards! hahahha… If I was there, my OB would really scold me as I might be a possible candidate for gestational diabetes after. hahaha.. Merry Christmas MM and family! :)

    Dec 13, 2011 | 10:40 am

  25. MiMac says:

    Hi, MM! Is your house child-proofed? I am sure after eating some of those sweets, the kids (and adults) will be sugar shocked! Hyper alert! Hahaha!

    If I were to be a guest in your place (huh, wishful thinking!), I’d stuff my small plastic bag with enough Dove, Kisses, kit kat and 1 candy cane! ;-p

    Dec 13, 2011 | 11:00 am

  26. Eileen says:

    So much sweets love it =)

    Dec 13, 2011 | 11:15 am

  27. rowena says:

    i Like =) MAy i copy this idea for my Little pamangkins, cousins and friends? ^-^

    Dec 13, 2011 | 11:32 am

  28. sally says:

    MM, where did you get those caramel candies?

    Dec 13, 2011 | 11:35 am

  29. JE says:

    Old fashioned caramels; big fan of that.

    I had assumed Santa’s, balls were supposed to be blue and not red? Kinda cold in the North Pole.

    Dec 13, 2011 | 1:24 pm

  30. ka_fredo says:

    Candy Canes! one of the few things that kick in that Christmasy feeling for me.

    Dec 13, 2011 | 2:51 pm

  31. MP says:

    Hi MM, just out of curiosity (and in case I see you somewhere), when your followers see/approach you (for the first time), do they call you Marketman, your name, your family name, MM, Pigman…??? Does it bother you when people call you MM????

    Dec 13, 2011 | 5:55 pm

  32. Marketman says:

    MP, almost all folks say “Marketman” with this bemused smirk. In the past couple of months, folks on planes, in airport lounges, in restaurants, subway stops, groceries, markets, food stores, etc. have just said “Hello, Marketman?!”… it’s a bit of a gas, and I truly appreciate it, but it was more fun when I was mostly anonymous. :) Quite a few folks say hello at the restaurants, but several claim they were “djahe to do so”…

    Dec 13, 2011 | 7:10 pm

  33. Marketman says:

    sally, caramels from Metro Grocery at Market!Market!. I have scoured groceries in Manila and Cebu and I think Metro wins HANDS DOWN for holiday sweets this year. We also brought back a balikbayan box filled with candy from a recent trip to NY. Mimac, the sugar rush theory has been debunked, I think. But if you worry about such things, hold the candy until the kids leave, so they are crazed on the way home… hahaha.

    Dec 13, 2011 | 7:12 pm

  34. edel says:

    I think I just died and went to CANDY HEAVEN :)

    Dec 13, 2011 | 11:02 pm

  35. DJ says:

    hi resagirl – thank you and may we continue to spend more “sweet” times with our love ones. candies for the kids and kids at heart. so nice of mr. mm in bringing memories of our childhood and putting smiles in our hearts.

    Dec 13, 2011 | 11:21 pm

  36. Botchok says:

    I can resist all those candies and chocolates but, i like those jams and jellies and the pannetone.

    Dec 14, 2011 | 12:41 am

  37. nina says:

    I set-up a candy bay on my twins’ 1st bday party last week. Both kids and adults went crazy! 2 christmas ago, i also gave away loot bags full of bags to neighbors’ kids and it was a hit. I think this christmas, I’ll have cookies and bars because the kids just had loads of candies from the party.

    Dec 14, 2011 | 2:48 am

  38. Thel from Florida says:

    Wow, kaloka ang daming goodies! Merry Christmas MM and family!

    Speaking of goodies, Tienda.com has a free shipping until Dec 14, for jamon Iberico and jamon Iberico de Bellota, etc. I ordered my jamon Iberico de Bellota. Free shipping good in USA only.

    Dec 14, 2011 | 7:57 am

  39. jacq says:

    WOW! Now I am craving for Dove Chocolates! =)

    Dec 14, 2011 | 11:00 am

  40. leigh says:

    i love it :-) the only problem with doing something like this is that I will definitely eat more than my fair share. everytime i pass, i must have one or two … just looks so festive and abundant. maybe i ought to put a really small version of this somewhat in my office which everyone has been telling me doesn’t only lack christmas cheer but is so stark they think it’s the office of someone just visiting for a couple of weeks!

    Dec 14, 2011 | 11:25 am

  41. joyce says:

    Fantastic! The people visiting your house are lucky hehe. Saw you one time at the Whitespace bazaar eating at the Cibo buffet but was too shy to say hi although it totally made my day. Told my friends that I saw Marketmanila hehe.

    Dec 14, 2011 | 11:56 am

  42. antipara says:

    oh my goodness…so Christmassssy:) btw, where can i buy small peppermint candy cane?

    Dec 14, 2011 | 12:20 pm

  43. julie says:

    Reading this post,sir, this came to mind:
    “The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.”
    (PROVERBS 11:25)
    God bless you more and more.

    Dec 14, 2011 | 1:17 pm

  44. millet says:

    is that a bronze bust of The Teen in the background, MM? very appropriate for the arrangement.

    Dec 14, 2011 | 3:05 pm

  45. Marketman says:

    millet, hahaha, good catch, yes, it is. My uncle is a sculptor.

    Dec 14, 2011 | 3:09 pm

  46. Marketfan says:

    I like anything with mint and some kids don’t so all the leftovers go to mommy. Kraft caramel candies are always available at S&R, btw.

    Nice spread but beware of the ants!

    Holidays start from within. I like that.

    Merry Christmas, MM.

    Dec 14, 2011 | 3:17 pm

  47. Sleepless in Seattle says:

    Love the candy spread!!! Silver placement is so in nowadays.. given the price of silver is soaring.Happy Holidays indeed!! you have such a good taste..Did you have a background or studied in interior decorating? I am pretty sure you are classically train:):):) like a french Chef..only in decor^_* Now i am inspired to do a little Candy corner.

    Dec 14, 2011 | 3:33 pm

  48. Girl golfing says:

    All that TEMPTATION!!!!! I love it!!!!!!

    Dec 14, 2011 | 10:08 pm

  49. anne says:

    MM , somebody’s drooling here :D Have you been to Willie Wonka’s lately ? ! hahaha

    Dec 15, 2011 | 8:21 am

  50. sister says:

    Why don’t you ask your readers to send in pictures of their Christmas spread? Would be nice to see what’s happening on tables around the world. I’m working on mine today, it’s out there in the foyer for all neighbors and building staff to enjoy.

    Dec 15, 2011 | 8:22 am

  51. hiddendragon says:

    Re your Christmas poll, how on earth can meals for 500 undernourished children beat out ten massages at BKK’s Oriental Spa?!?

    There will always be undernourished children to feed but offers for ten free massages at The Oriental won’t be there forever! Sus!

    (Of course, you know I’m kidding, right?)

    Dec 15, 2011 | 9:11 am

  52. Geraldine Yangson says:

    At 40 my blood sugar is thankfully at low normal range despite having “vetsin sa dulo ng dila” according to my lolo. I love sweets in small amounts but with a display like this I’d be tempted to taste everything. Right now I have a new fave sweet my dad brought home from davao, harold’s cheese bar. Dark choco with blue cheese and walnuts…hayyyy…

    Dec 15, 2011 | 9:40 am

  53. teacupmoments says:

    Your candy bar is so awesome. What fun it must be to be in your home during the holidays. And what a coincidence, I just set up a holiday hot chocolate bar at home and, similar to your first photo, set a few (glittered) pinecones beside the candy canes. :)

    Dec 15, 2011 | 10:18 am

  54. jack says:

    i’m not much a fan of candies but would love to try some once in a while specially when there’s plenty like the one’s on MM’s table :)

    Dec 15, 2011 | 11:09 am

  55. Mai says:

    Was wondering were you got your supplies.. i’m tempted to put out a spread like this. i’m sure the look on the children’s faces would be priceless.

    Dec 15, 2011 | 2:38 pm

  56. Lalaine says:

    your generosity is inspiring. this year wasn’t as great for our family because of a failed business, but i still would like to give the kids in the neighborhood some treat by setting up my chocolate fountain. just i worry about their clothes getting stained by chocolate! I always remind myself that to whom much is given, much is expected… MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone!

    Dec 15, 2011 | 2:45 pm

  57. meekerz says:

    I’ve been watching the Santa poll, and I’m amused at the ‘race’ between 500 Meals and Losing 20 lbs. I’m wondering if the people who voted for 500 Meals are all healthy, sexy people with a generous amount of self esteem ;)

    Dec 15, 2011 | 4:54 pm

  58. Joe says:

    My sister set-up a candy bar during my niece’s birthday party. Surprisingly, the kids (and adults) dig the local candies (Haw-haw, choc-nut, flat tops, Orange Swits) more than the M&M’s and Wonkas.

    Dec 16, 2011 | 9:22 am

  59. Marketman says:

    Joe, I am not surprised, there is nostalgia in the stuff we grew up with. The orange swits today aren’t the original, but reminiscent. I wish they had fruity jojos as well. Chocnut always great, along with all the others… :)

    Dec 16, 2011 | 9:38 am

  60. millet says:

    MM, please feature sister’s christmas spread, please!

    Dec 16, 2011 | 10:03 am

  61. ECC says:

    ChocNut is my all-time favorite Filipino chocolate. Orange Swits sounded familiar but I couldn’t remember what they looked like. So, I searched for a picture and that brought me to this blog/article that brought back lots of memories:


    It has been a while since I was reminded of Peter’s Butter Ball, Lipps, Viva Caramel, and Nuts Caramel candies and of Curly Tops chocolates.

    Dec 16, 2011 | 11:36 am

  62. RV says:

    This spread is drool-worthy! You are such a tease MM! Happy Holidays!

    Dec 16, 2011 | 5:49 pm

  63. chichay says:

    oohhh, i wanna be your guest too!!!! HAPPY CHRISTMAS!!!

    Dec 16, 2011 | 11:18 pm

  64. Meg says:

    Those sweets I can stash away into my office desk drawer for those sudden sweet cravings the whole year round. Won’t hurt your diet if you have encounters with them once in a while. Merry, merry Christmas MM. Your website keeps me awake during my work in my office. What can i do without your blog?

    Dec 17, 2011 | 2:06 am

  65. Papa Ethan says:

    I wonder what ever happened to Tootsie Roll?

    Dec 17, 2011 | 11:52 am

  66. Mart says:

    I also miss the orange swits. They certainly don’t make them like they used to anymore. I also used to eat a whole box of Serg’s chocolate bars. Now I can’t stand the stuff. But then again, growing older my taste has now leaned towards the darker blends of chocolate.

    I found it funny and quite interesting that from the current results of the poll, two items are about neck-and-neck:
    one is generous to others and the other a bit on the selfish side but both are related to food. :-)

    Dec 17, 2011 | 3:54 pm

  67. rita says:

    that looks so enticing and divine! how about some Mint Pareils and Chocolate Peppermint Cookies to complete the set-up? that said – may i invite myself to your party? AHAHAHAHA!

    btw, Santa’s balls… that’s too funny! :D

    Dec 17, 2011 | 4:46 pm

  68. sister says:

    Foil wrapped chocolate balls available at Sahadi’s on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn for $7.95/lb and at Citarella for TWICE that. It’s worth it to go over the bridge or through the tunnel. Will note for next year… I can remember when they were $1.95/lb only a decade ago. Sahadi’s is definitely worth featuring on your next trip to NYC.

    Dec 17, 2011 | 5:05 pm

  69. marilen rodriguez says:

    Blessed and joyful Christmas to MM and family, and worldwide market manila family!!

    Dec 17, 2011 | 11:31 pm

  70. betty q. says:

    My condolences to those who have families who perished in the recent storm Cagayan and Iligan…

    Ms. Connie C…I heard that the storm is headed your way! I pray that you are safe!!!!!

    Dec 18, 2011 | 6:04 am

  71. Fards says:

    I have heard of the devastation the typhoon, and flash floods in CDO from a classmate who lives there. So tragic. Cannot imagine how it must be for those affected by this.

    Dec 18, 2011 | 7:58 am

  72. Connie C says:

    Hi bettyQ. I f you came, you would have stopped the storm! but thank you for your kind thoughts. Hubby’s cousin says the devastation in Cagayan de Oro is really awful and so many people homeless and the even unluckier ones perished including some of his friends. What a sad holiday!

    Hopefully the storm will have dissipated out to the West Philippine Seas by the time we head for Batangas and Mindoro for the holidays.

    Dec 18, 2011 | 5:58 pm

  73. Nicole says:

    oh my such a wonderful spread! Can I gate crash? hehehe :D

    Dec 19, 2011 | 11:16 pm

  74. Marian says:

    my sweet tooth won’t resist..can I be your guest? =)

    Dec 19, 2011 | 11:26 pm

  75. ayla says:

    I died and went to sweets heaven.

    Dec 20, 2011 | 10:41 am

  76. eunice chan says:

    those sweet treats make Christmas time even more magical :D

    Dec 20, 2011 | 3:38 pm

  77. GLT says:

    I think reading this post just made me gain 10lbs… Merry Christmas MM!

    Oh, where’d you find the santa hat kisses??

    Dec 22, 2011 | 6:41 pm

  78. Shiela says:

    Hi! Where did you buy different peppermint candies, the lollipops with tootsie roll centers in peppermint hard candy shells and the twisted mints?

    Jan 17, 2012 | 4:14 pm

  79. Meki says:

    Hi. Where did you find those caramels?

    Jan 31, 2012 | 3:46 pm

  80. Marketman says:

    Meki, I think those specific caramels were from Metro Grocery at Market!Market! Mall. Shiela, peppermint candies from all over… local groceries like S&R, Metro, Rustan’s and others from Metro Cebu. GLT, santa hat kisses at Metro Cebu, and some brought in from the States.

    Jan 31, 2012 | 5:03 pm

  81. Jenny says:

    Wow!!! Marketman, i love the chocolates and candies and i love the way how you use your jars and crystals. I’m inspired and i would like to use this idea for my daughter’s birthday. If I may ask, where did you buy those jars and beautiful crystal and glass bowls?

    Apr 8, 2012 | 10:38 am

  82. Marketman says:

    Jenny, they were acquired over a 20-30 year period, with some dishes inherited. But for a shortcut version, try the home section of Landmark Department stores or even SM, that have relatively modestly priced glass vessels which would work well to replicate the same kind of spread…

    Apr 8, 2012 | 10:45 am

  83. Anniiieee says:

    where did you buy those peppermint candy canes? been searching for it last Christmas :|

    Jun 17, 2013 | 10:00 pm

  84. Marketman says:

    annileee, some from S&R, others from Rustan’s and other groceries, and I also brought several in my luggage from a trip to the U.S. for Thanksgiving that year…

    Jun 17, 2013 | 10:11 pm


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