Holiday Cheers!

Like having your very own sommelier for the holidays

What plans do you have for this winter holiday season? Sledding? Caroling? Sure, sounds great if you like being outside.

In the weather.

Come on, now! Sloshing around with your mouth wide open is going to lead you nowhere but inside, cold and thirsty — and still, with so much to do. Here’s a guide for pairing up some traditional holiday activities with libations that will get you in the spirit.*

Wrapping Presents — Do you think Candy Spelling had a wine fridge in her gift-wrapping room in that mansion? I think so. In fact, I bet Candy demanded to be served a sweet wine whilst sitting on her present-wrapping chaise lounge, because nothing says, “I can’t do this, you wrap it for me,” like the horrendous buzz you get from a cold glass of Sauternes.

Frosting Cookies — When we talk about decorating cookies we really mean slapping on some frosting (with sprinkles, if you’re fancy) and eating them so quickly you’re left wondering, who ate all the cookies?

Well, that’s what I’m talking about!

What a great ‘activity’ to pair with a great cup of coffee, and a dousing of peppermint schnapps. You’ll be so strung out on sugar, caffeine, and alcohol you’ll upgrade to eating frosting right out of the bowl! Who needs cookies anymore!!!

…but, if there are any cookies left over try to match the body of the rocking-horse cookie with the head of the Santa Claus cookie, to make a rocking-Santa-centaur. Pro-tip!

Visiting Other People’s Family — A gift is always the thing to bring when meeting someone’s family, especially when you’re taking up space on their sofa and getting their pets worked up merely by your presence. In this era of the plague, we’re going to assume that you’re all quarantined-up and have been tested and maybe you’re wearing masks too just because you love your friends so much and accidentally killing their family is not on the plan. Nobody is going to accidentally share a deadly virus as well as gifts this year, okay?

Okay!

So, gift-wise let me tell you that bringing a bottle of sprits is usually a good bet. But your gift choice will be doing a lot of speaking for you, as your friend’s family will blithely interpret anything you bring as a direct reflection on your personality. Giving them a bottle of brandy is festive and will make you look sophisticated. Do you want them to think of you as a sophisticate? A snob. You probably drink brandy at home while wearing a corduroy blazer with suede elbow patches!

You could always aim a little lower. Give the appearance of being somewhat relatable by bringing a bottle of wine, perhaps. But lo, weary traveler, there are traps here, too!

Pinot Noir says, “I’m a fickle pickle.” What, you need two names for your wine? Pinot or Noir, stick with one!

Champagne says, “I’d rather be naked.” Party people bring champagne to meet family, so lock down your social media accounts before handing this bottle over.

Châteauneuf-du-Pape says, “I went to France once which means I’m basically French now, and living anywhere else is an effrontery to my very soul.” Seriously get a bottle of Grenache, it’s the same thing.

If this is all very risky and you’d rather not walk into a minefield, take the safe route and stick with a handful of oranges and some sparkling water - which says, “Detox.”

Hanging Lights On The House — Your life insurance policy probably doesn’t cover Died While Drunk on a Ladder incidents. So save the drinks for afterwards, when you’re staring at the glowing house you now live in, wondering, “Should I have gone more Icicle Wonderland, than Vegas marquee?”

Turn your thoughts next to a mug of hot buttered rum. Grasp it with both hands and breathe in. Smell that? That’s the Caribbean. You know, where Jamaica is! They have Christmas in Jamaica, too. And cruise ships with festive lights strewn up all for you. And lots of rum. They even tell you on the ship, “More rum, more fun.” So sip that hot cup of fun, go inside and book your cruise for Christmas 2021 (after you get the vaccine). Go ahead and leave the lights up for the whole year, too.

Decorating The Tree — What does “too much” mean when it comes to tinsel?

Is there a branch strong enough to hold on to that giant cookie ornament you made in first grade?

Is the tree going to even survive through December, or will have turned your floor into a pine needle carpet?

Take your eyes off the tree to look at your cat chewing on the strand of lights and then, whammo, down goes another glass ball.

The stress of ornament hanging is best paired with a hot toddy, a laissez-faire attitude regarding nostalgia, a comfortable spot to sit in while someone else does all the work.

“You’ve always been better at this,” you’ll tell the tree-trimmer, as you take a sip and nod with feigned admiration.

Happy holidays!

*The spirit of sleeping it off.

Writer, Illustrator. You've seen me at @tnyshouts, @The_Belladonnas, @thetoast, @queenmobs, @mcsweeneys, marissamaciel.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store