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This is What Young Dolly Parton Got for Christmas Each Year

Before Dolly Parton was the famous singer, businesswoman and philanthropist she is today, she lived in a one-room cabin in Locust Ridge, Tennessee near the Great Smoky Mountains. She didn't own anything sparkly or studded with butterflies. And when Christmas came around each year, it was apparent that the family didn't have enough to provide the children with mountains of presents.

It's still common in this day and age for many families to struggle-especially during the holiday season. And no song encompasses the raw emotion of facing financial hardship during the holidays more than "Hard Candy Christmas."

What is a Hard Candy Christmas?


Written by composer and lyricist Carol Hall for the musical, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, which Parton starred in, "Hard Candy Christmas" is originally sung by the girls in the brothel as they are preparing to leave.

Soon after the release of the film in October 1982, Parton released the song as a single, reaching number 8 on the country singles chart. It became an instant hit as many related to how hard providing during the holidays can be. During an interview with Oprah, Parton is asked by a member of the audience, "What does a 'Hard Candy Christmas' mean?"

Smiling, Dolly Parton responds that although she did not write the song, she can still connect with the lyrics quite heavily. "For Christmas, like I said there's twelve of us kids, we didn't have money for Christmas presents and that type of thing, but Mom and Daddy always got us a box of hard candy."

Although her family didn't have much, Parton's parents made sure that their Christmas felt special without the trendiest toys of the year. I think this rings true for anyone celebrating the holidays.

You don't need to buy the most extravagant gift to show your love towards your family and friends. Something simple and homemade shows how much you care without breaking the bank.

This year Dolly Parton has jumped heels first into Christmas festivities.

"Sharing my families' Christmas traditions is a dream come true," Parton said of her collaboration with Williams-Sonoma during an interview with People. "My mama always made us feel loved by making us treats in our little mountain cabin around the holidays. Now I get to invite all my nieces and nephews and their kids for what we like to call 'cookie night'.  It's the perfect way to spend time with the special people on your Christmas list."

Homemade Candy to Give to Loved Ones

Today we wanted to share with you a few of our favorite homemade treats to give away this holiday season to people you love and cherish.

1. Microwave Divinity Candy


Made with cooked sugar and egg whites, this Southern candy would be perfect wrapped in a festive box tied with a ribbon.

Get the recipe here.

2. Homemade Honeycomb Candy


Made to look like the little pieces of honeycomb, this candy is fast to make and a snap to cook. You can drizzle the pieces of candy with chocolate and sprinkle with sea salt and holiday sprinkles to make it a bit more festive.

Get the recipe here.

3. Homemade Chewy Caramels


Who can resist the taste of caramel? Give a box of these caramels to your neighbors or perhaps some friends.

Get the recipe here.

4. Sugar Cookie Truffles


These truffles look like a million bucks when you package them in a festive take-out box. Give with a bottle of homemade infused vodka for an extra special treat.

Find the recipe here.

5. Marshmallow Chocolate Fudge


It's just like a scoop of rocky road ice cream in the palm of your hand. Find the recipe here.

Watch: How to Make a Southern Peppermint Patty