Ask Amy: Fruitcake Plus COVID-19

By Amy Dickinson | December 18th, 2020

Probably not a great holiday combination


Fruitcake Image

Dear Amy: We have close friends who live in another state. We have remained friends, despite geography.

Every year during the holidays season, “Carol” sends us a homemade fruitcake. We have always looked forward to this gift and enjoyed it very much.

Unfortunately, over the past several months both Carol and her husband have had and recovered from COVID; Carol still has not recovered her sense of taste and smell.

We have been sheltering in place for nine months now, only venturing out for doctor appointments. We have our groceries delivered.

We understand that the virus is supposedly not transported on food, but we don’t want to take a chance of any kind.

How do we tell Carol not to send us the fruitcake without hurting her feelings?

— The Worrywarts

Dear Worrywarts: You should contact “Carol” immediately and tell her that because she has been so sick for so long … “We’re not going to hold you to your fruitcake delivery this year. We just want to make sure you don’t go to that trouble, and that you take good care of yourself during your recovery. Your good health would be the best gift to us.”

If Carol is anything like my friend Michael (who sends fruitcake to me every year), unless she had decided to cancel her gift, her Christmas batch was started several weeks ago and is now being brushed (or bathed) in brandy in preparation for shipping.

If you receive the cake, thank your friend profusely. What you decide to do with the cake after receiving it is your business.

I hope you are planning to send these friends something very special this year. It sounds as if they have been through a lot.


Want to get even more life tips from Amy? Read more of her advice columns here!


In the tradition of the great personal advice columnists, Chicago Tribune’s Amy Dickinson is a plainspoken straight shooter who relates to readers of all ages. She answers personal questions by addressing issues from both her head and her heart. A solid reporter, Dickinson researches her topics to provide readers with informed opinions and answers. Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068

© 2020 by Amy Dickinson

More from Boomer