Admit it—for eleven months of the year, you don't even bother to think about large tins of multi-flavored popcorn separated by cardboard dividers.
And then, with Thanksgiving fading in your rearview mirror and the holidays up ahead, they start appearing, first in your office break room and then on your doorstep from a neighbor you never talk to: big tins of popcorn with rocking horses and ornaments on them.
I love these stupid things, mostly because they just begin materializing when the holidays roll around. I'm also fairly certain—and believe me, I've thought a lot about this—that there's nothing particularly festive about having different varieties of popcorn gathered conveniently in one place. There really isn't. It's as if we collectively willed them into being a holiday tradition after decades of bringing them to our in-laws' place or putting them out on a table during a Christmas party.
Oh, sure, you could buy these all year round if you wanted to, but then you'd be destroying the very thing that makes them so delightful: the fact that a little bit of yuletide cheer can transform a boring tin of popcorn into a slightly more exciting tin of popcorn. And at the end of the day, isn't that what the holidays are all about?
Popcornopolis 2-gallon popcorn tin (cheese, caramel, kettle corn) - $49.99
Let's make one thing very clear—just because something has the word "delicious" printed on it doesn't make it true. This is something I've learned the hard way. Now, I know the folks at Popcornopolis put the word "delicious" in suspicious looking quotes on the label of this 3-flavor tin, but it's pretty safe to assume that all two gallons of popcorn contained within are, in fact, delicious.
First up to bat is the finger-coating fan favorite, orange cheese (truly a seasoned veteran of the holiday popcorn tin league). On deck is kettle corn, who's pinch-hitting for butter (a polarizing move that will surely earn some criticism from the beat writers). Batting third is none other than caramel, whose presence in the lineup cannot be overstated. Many believe caramel is the sickly sweet heart of this team. Who can say, really?
"The Big Spender"
Popcornopolis 2-gallon popcorn tin ("Zebra" corn, caramel, kettle corn) - $54.99
Whoa—get a load of Fancy Pants over here. You're not afraid to spend that extra five bucks on Popcornopolis's signature Zebra corn, are you? Looks like someone had a good year.
What's Zebra corn, you ask? It's our old friend caramel, except caramel's been coated in sumptuous dark and white chocolate. Just look at the way those black and white ribbons cascade over that mountain of caramel corn. For some reason, Popcornopolis pairs its Zebra corn with two additional sweet flavors: kettle and caramel. If you ask me, it's kind of messed up to make caramel sit there—naked and inferior—next to its 'roided up counterpart.
You don't play by anyone else's rules. You're a maverick. Sure, the flavor combination of cheese, caramel, and butter is a stone-cold classic, but you've been down that road before. You're looking for something new... something dangerous.
How about a little bacon cheddar, huh? Does that sound intriguing? What about the enticing allure of honey mustard? If those two flavors aren't enough to convince you that this ain't your grandfather's traditional holiday popcorn tin, then buckle up, because I'm about to blow your kernel-chomping head wide open with two words: spicy Buffalo.
Society might look down upon such audacious flavor pairings, but revolutions are often led by movers and shakers willing to break the rules. So be bold; be a holiday hero. Because being wrong never tasted so right.
The "This One Has Minions On It, I Guess"
Giftpop Despicable Me Minions 24-ounce popcorn tin (butter, caramel, white cheddar) - $24.99
This tin, which features butter, caramel, and white cheddar corn, has pictures of Minions on it, and will surely delight children, that aunt who won't stop posting political memes on Facebook, and whoever eventually decides to clean out the crumbs so they can use it to store Legos or stray board game pieces.
The Minions depicted on the tin are dressed in goofy costumes (as they are wont to do), and I guess people really go nuts for these little guys, despite me not understanding the appeal whatsoever.
As of now, there don't appear to be any customer reviews of the Minions popcorn tin, so for all I know, this product doesn't actually exist. If you happen to get one for that co-worker of yours who has plush Minions on their desk, please report back and confirm that this is an actual thing you can buy.