Continuing the series of Thomas B. Marlows's Guide to Holiday Traditions, I bring to you Rule 2: The Proper Consumption and Use of Holiday Chocolate.
2. Eating Holiday Chocolate
Chocolate given as a gift during a time of the year associated with a holiday shall be consumed in the period between one week prior to and one week after said holiday. Past this time period, the chocolate can still be eaten - but must be manipulated into a more appropriate form.
2b. Using Post-Holiday Chocolate
After the week has passed, the chocolate must be transformed in order to eat it. For example, say you receive a chocolate Santa Claus and can't finish it by January 2nd. You can easily switch it to New Year's Chocolate by melting it, reshaping it into a rectangle, and carving 2010 (or whatever) into the rectangle - now you have an entirely new, holiday-appropriate chocolate bar!
Melting chocolate is not difficult; it can be done either with a watchful eye and a microwave or with a double boiler on the stovetop. After it is melted, the reshaping can be as easy or as complicated as you'd like. Have leftover Valentine's Day chocolate? Make chocolate quarters or dollars in honor of Washington's birthday. The possibilities are endless - well, not really...but there are many possibilities.
Watch a video of me discussing Rule 2 here, and more images of an example chocolate rose here.