A little gift came my way this week that will bring me much joy until the day I drop off this planet. And we need some simple daily happiness, as the news in our world is as bleak as I can remember. So I share this gift of joy with you as well. Behold the Wish Chip. It is a thing people!
I have spent four decades of my life unaware there is a name for those potato crisps in the packet that are folded over. They are almost a double chip and many believe they hold a magical force. Some people also include ‘bubble’ chips (those with pockets of air in them) as wish chips.
I started asking my friends if they knew about the wish chip for their whole lives. Most said of course they had heard of the wish chip. For many of them, the wish chip must be eaten in a certain way, otherwise the wish is voided. For example, the chip cannot be touched by the thumb and must be picked up between the ‘wish fingers’ (the middle and index fingers.)
There is much debate about the actual process of eating the chip, as some friends said the chip must be swallowed and eaten without opening your mouth or the wish will be crushed. Other friends said they smash the chip on their foreheads and let the chip crumble to the ground. One whacky mate said she crushes the chip against the roof of her mouth with her tongue.
There are of course, other food rituals that make us feel plain good. Christmas bon-bons (not crackers) is a wonderful part of the festivities in our house at Christmas time. Leftover ham on Boxing Day for breakfast means the world is in order. What about the wishbone in a whole chicken? It will always remind me of my grandma, who taught me the tradition of drying it on the kitchen bench before making a wish with someone else. But you had to wait 24 hours for the wishbone to dry and then share it with someone and you only had a 50 per cent chance of winning the larger part of the bone for your chance to make a wish. The wish chip is all yours.
Toasting glasses and saying “cheers” while looking your loved one or friend in the eye is a big part of our family culture. Probably because we are soaks. But our kids have always joined us to toast their plastic cups filled with water when its happy hour time. That little bit in the mandarin is also believed to be good luck
if you swallow it whole.
Of course, the biggest food ritual is the cutting of your birthday cake. First we sing, then we blow out candles. Then we kiss the nearest boy if we haven’t blown out every single candle. Then we sing again. Then we cut the cake and make a wish, except your wish doesn’t come true if you touch the bottom of the cake base. That is actually a lot of rituals for one humble birthday cake! I love a ritual and who doesn’t love a bonus wish in their day?