Gift of the Magi Bread

This bread is a gift to the taste buds. It's SO good.

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup ripe bananas, mashed (about 2 medium)

1 can (11 ounce) mandarin oranges, drained

1 cup flaked coconut

1 cup chocolate chips

2/3 cup sliced almonds, divided

1/2 cup maraschino cherries

1/2 cup chopped dates or raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add flour, baking soda and salt alternately with the bananas. Stir in the oranges, coconut, chocolate chips, 1/2 cup almonds, cherries and dates or raisins. Pour into 2 greased loaf pans. Sprinkle with remaining almonds. Bake for 1 hour, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.