Christmas Countdown Preliminaries
Before we go off willy-nilly and attempt to chronicle the entirety of yule-tide game-tivities, let’s take a moment to prepare ourselves. Diving head-first into the freezing lake of Christmas cheer can shock the yule right out of your log. So, I’ve prepare some recommendations to help get you in the mood. I hesitate to call this a Buyers Guide as you won’t be buying this stuff for anyone but yourself, but sometimes the Magic-Self Lamp needs a little rubbin’.
God, what a recockulous paragraph. I guess that’s what happens when you write solely to amuse yourself.
Samual Adams Winter Classics Variety Pack
As a general rule, I’m not the biggest fan of Samuel Adams. His brews are just a notch above Budweiser in my opinion, which puts them slightly above the piss-water in the bottom of the toilet and into the realm of the blue-tinged water that drips from the inside rim of the bowl. Come Christmas time, Samuel redeems himself with a pack of holiday inspired beers that will warm the Grinchiest heart. I’m funny that way, in that individual quality isn’t as important as variety, and the Sam Adams pack contains 6 different flavors to tempt your palate and kill your brain cells:
Sam’s trademark brew doesn’t really deserve inclusion in this pack, but has somehow snuck in. At least there are only two. Save these for the end of the night, when everything tastes the same.
Made from real Winter extract, this hearty brew is basically a thicker version of the Boston Lager.
A new addition to this annual pack, Cream Stout will make you wish it were a Guinness.
Old Fezziwig Ale
“Ale brewed with cinnamon, ginger, and orange”. Any beer named after a character from A Christmas Carol is okay by me. It sure does make me wish there were a porter named after Frank Cross. It’s my personal fav.
After coming strong with Old Fezziwig, Sam takes the conservative naming route with their porter. It really steams my piss that they can just say the word Christmas on the damn thing. You can’t fool me Sam. I just noticed that “this heavy porter finishes with traditional English Fuggles and East Kent Goldings.” Somehow my Eastern Goldings have ended up at the bottom of this bottle, not unlike how the rest of me will eventually.
Cranberry beer–wha-huh?! The oddness of a cranberry based brew is only eclipsed by the inclusion of Lamb into the mix. Because, we are all a little like lambs, you know? Still, I can’t help but think that turkey would have been the better meat choice.
Festive Beverage Container
Now that you’ve got all these beers, what are you going to drink them out of? Beer just tastes better when drank from the hallowed out skull of Old Saint Nick. Good luck finding one of these. I found mine at the Goodwill for 3 dollars. If you can afford it, this guy on eBay sells replicas of the Wally World Moose Cups from National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, perfect for snarfing eggnog into.
Playmobil Advent Calendar
I first learned of this thing from Matt over at X-Entertainment.com, where his Christmas countdown is now in its 6th glorious year and just keeps getting better. My shitty shit can’t hold a Taper of Sacrafice to Matt’s incredible volume of comedy gold.
What better way to keep track of when you should put down the Orange Box and switch to the Pink and Gold one. Things have gone a bit bat-shit crazy in Playmobil-land this year. Rather than sticking with a traditional Christmas theme, what we have here is a Unicorn Princess Advent Calendar.
Thank god I have a four year old daughter to blame for buying this stuff. I can’t imagine what the clerk was thinking when I walked in by myself and demanded that they
give me the last one in the store that had been placed on hold by someone far less hairy.
Mother’s Holiday Striped Shortbread
Baking Christmas cookies is a lot of damn work. Like anything good, it’s mostly worth it, but sometimes the most I want to do is tear open a hermetically sealed package of processed sugar and shovel whatever is in there straight into my mouth, just like mom used to do. I’ve written about the glories of Mother’s Holiday Striped Shortbread before, so allow me to summarize (ie. cut and paste) my thoughts here:
I’ll admit that I am a bit of a cookie fanatic. Since I have grown up, my love of candy has waned. A Snickers just doesn’t look as appealing as a frosty mug of beer at this point in my life. Childhood seemed like nothing else but a constant pursuit of candy. Starting with Halloween, the cavalcade of chocolatey confections continued through the rest of the year. Perhaps it’s the fact that I can go to the store at any moment and buy myself a King Size Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup that has dulled the allure of such an action. As with anything, I suppose, candy lost it’s magic when it became instantly available at any moment and not just an occasional triumph over my parents will. However, such a thing could not be said of my desire for cookies. “C” is for cookie and that’s good enough for me. (But don’t get me started on cake…)
My favorite cookies that my Grandma used to hand out were
Fudge-Stripes shortbread. Being from the Philippines, my Grandmother could put together some tremendous home made goods, but, nothing like store bought preservatives got my hands trembling with delight and sugar withdrawals. Grandmas are cool like that, always pleasing the kids, even at the expense of themselves sometimes. Thanks for the cookies, Grandma. And the Matchbox cars.
Now, I’ve always been partial to the Fudge-Stripes put out by the Keebler Elves, but this year the entire team of Elves have been one-upped by a single Mother. It’s not that Mother has three kids and is divorced, it’s just that there is only one of her, but she is one goddamn cookie making son of a bitch. The Elves were sitting pretty on a mountain of Double-Stuffed E. L. Fudge cookies, and that mountain, my friends, has tumbled. Chaka, when the walls fell. Out of nowhere, Mother has come and dethroned The King.
Okay, so all she did was use white fudge instead of dark, but that’s not all. Red and green colored stripes help round out the festive motif. Another nice touch is complete coverage with the white fudge leaving no cookie area unfudged. It’s like your very own snow covered hilltop stained with the blood of sinners and Vulcans.
The technique of choice for eating Fudge-Stripes was to stick my finger through the hole in the middle and eat my way to the center until there was nothing left but a thin ring of cookie. It’s too bad that as my fingers have gotten larger, the hole in the center of Fudge-Stripes hasn’t kept pace. I’m forced to fall back on my pinky and, still, the cookie barely makes it to the first knuckle. By the way, it’s best to eat the remaining Ring O’ Cookie straight off of your finger. Pulling the ring off would result in a chocolate smear on your whole finger and explaining to your mailman why you’re sitting there with your brown-stained finger in the air could be a challenge. Well, you’ll no longer have to feel awkward in front of your mailman, at least during the holiday season. Introducing Mother’s Holiday Fudge-Striped Cookies! Better get some while they last.
Mother is watching.