Christmas Crunch with Jingle Bell Rocks?!

I should be more excited about Christmas Crunch’s glorious return, but…

1

Ho ho hum. They didn’t redesign the box. It’s exactly the same as last year’s. And last year’s was exactly the same as 2011’s.

I’d buy Christmas Crunch even if they released it in plain paper bags, but there’s so much to be said for an annual redressing.

Quaker used to change the boxes almost every year. Even when they failed to top the previous design, you still had to appreciate the effort that went into making the same three bullet points seem new and exciting.

Hey, Quaker? It’s time to freshen things up. Look to your own history. You used to rock this shit!

2

For example, here’s Christmas Crunch as it appeared in 1998.

It’s simpler, but way more charming. The current box looks like a Target ad, but this one looks like some great old cartoon. (And I’d really, REALLY love to see a cartoon about Santa Claus spiking cereal with red boulders. My God… the things I would trade for a cartoon about Santa Claus spiking cereal with red boulders!)

And those boulders? That’s the other thing. Christmas Crunch used to come with all sorts of freebies and weird to-dos. Remember those cardboard tree ornaments from the ‘80s? Or how about the 1995 version, which came with packets of alien space frosting?

All Quaker has given us lately are coupons for DVDs we already own. I don’t need $3 off A Charlie Brown Christmas; I already have three copies.

In truth, I’m only blasting 2013’s Christmas Crunch for setup purposes. I guess I’m okay with the stupid repeated box. I mainly just wanted to gush about those weird red boulders from 1998!

3

They were called “Jingle Bell Rocks,” and it took me a minute to realize why that was clever. They were meant to be sprinkled into your cereal bowl, but not for a boost of extra sugary flavor.

No, the point of Jingle Bell Rocks was to make your milk change colors.

A bizarre ploy to be sure, but an effective one. No kid was crying for the opportunity to repaint milk, but no kid sneezed at the chance, either.

5

I didn’t have a packet of Jingle Bell Rocks, but I was able to mimic its effects with food coloring. Judging by the box, we’re aiming more for “Pepto-Bismol” than “blood.“

I can only handle milk when it’s an ingredient in something else, but I must admit… pink milk is strangely appetizing. I guess this would be like eating cereal with Strawberry Quik?

Now I’m imagining Cap’n Crunch and the Quik Bunny arguing over profit shares. It’s intoxicating! Rest assured that any sentences beyond here were written at least thirty minutes later.

4

The back of the box is insane and fabulous. Everyone looks psychotic. I don’t know if it’s their eyes or the fact that they’re all snowboarding while eating cereal, but they look psychotic.

The scene is rife with colors and puzzles and general lunacy, which are the BEST THINGS for the backs of cereal boxes to be rife with. Kids didn’t read the newspaper during breakfast. The backs of those boxes needed to entertain us for as long as it took to eat a bowl of cereal.

This one did!

I’m very happy that Christmas Crunch is still around. It’s a quiet but deeply appreciated tradition, and the holidays wouldn’t be the same without it. Still, I’d like to see Quaker change things up next year. I want to believe that Christmas Crunch’s best years are ahead of it.

(Granted, that’s gonna be tough. How the hell do you top Jingle Bell Rocks?)

The Big Boxes of Joy may be sold out, but there you can still grab one of Dino Drac’s Merry Mini Funpacks! Like you don’t want to read an ancient promotional Kool-Aid comic book. Details over here. There aren’t many left!