Ah yes, the winter holiday season is upon us. There is the fresh smell of cookies and pies, turkeys and hams, and the most festive of music. The stores are filled with gorgeous holiday decorations ranging from giant blow-up turkeys in pilgrim hats to a motorcycle Santa. People rush about with a joyous smile, a wave hello, a “Happy Holidays” or maybe a “Merry Christmas”, if they’re old school. And if you’re anything like me, by the time December actually hits, you’re already fucking sick of it.
I mean, honestly, I went to pick up some fake blood at my local bargain shop the day before Halloween, foolishly thinking that it was STILL in fact the Halloween season. Lo and behold, I didn’t find my much sought after fake blood, I find that, indeed, all the Halloween merchandise has been taken off display until NEXT YEAR in place of various red boxed Christmas ornaments and fake trees. On October 30th. Fucking “Jingle Bells” is already ringing through the store. For shame, people, for shame.
There are so many major overlapping holidays now, making the November/December time of year a mishmash of random traditions. I can’t even comprehend how to respond with a “Merry This” or “Happy That.”
Let’s not even forget that, culturally, we’re to the point of having a half-dozen obscure holidays EVERY DAY. We have a National Talk Like A Pirate Day. Let the terrible implications of that sink in for a second.
So in light of all this holiday madness, I present the Obscure Holidays Drinking Guide for December 2012: a list of several Holidays you didn’t know about, and probably didn’t want to know about, but could still use a boozy companion anyway.
December 2nd – National Fritter Day
Well gee, isn’t it special that this day has rolled around. The day we all sit back and remember that at some point in time someone sat down and said to his friend “Dude, wouldn’t it be awesome if I took this fried dough and just…stuffed it with shit?”
The standard fritter is filled with a fruit, a jelly, or perhaps seafood. This amazingly varied take on the doughnut leaves us with many options when selecting a beverage to celebrate National Fritter Day with. But go ahead and thank whichever god you pray to, I’ve found the solution.
Dry Dock Apricot Blonde
Let’s be fair here, this is a sweet beer. A very sweet beer. But man, if you’re going to be slamming down fritters for a few hours, you’re going to need something tasty to go with it.
Having had the Apricot Blonde out of the tap, I can say it’s pretty decent, smells a lot like apricots and tastes like it too. Not something I’d really want to mix with a burger. But a pastry? Sure, I think this pairing could be fine. Granted, this is a summer seasonal, so you might have trouble finding it. But somehow, doesn’t that seem like your problem? Really?
December 6th – Put on Your Own Shoes Day
Oh yeah, fuck, I almost forgot all about Put on Your Own Shoes Day. Little is known about this mystical holiday, other than you put on your own goddamn shoes. Perhaps there was a time when some young single mother was leaning down to once again tie the shoes of her 5 year old, when she looked up, saw it was December 6th and went, “You know what sweetie? It’s Put on Your Own Shoes Day. Grow up.”
Stranahans’s Colorado Whiskey
Good job, you self reliant go-getter! You put on your own shoes today? You’re ready to get out there and tackle the world. You strong sophisticated elegant bastard, you can do anything! Speaking of self made success stories, why don’t you pour yourself 3 fingers of one of the finest whiskeys I’ve ever tried, Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey.
During a photo shoot in this magnificent distillery, (yes, I’m THAT pretty) I was able to taste some of this stunning beverage. And let me say, I have had a lot of whiskey (like, today), and Stranahan’s is some of the smoothest and tastiest out there. Generally found for about 50 ish bucks a bottle, it may not be as cheap as some booze out there, but sweet Odin, it’s worth it. Besides, you can afford that, can’t you, you paragon of independence? You DID just put on your own shoes…
December 8th – Take it in the Ear Day
God only knows what horrors occurred to lead to the invention of this day. Like most other “holidays” here, Take it in the Ear Day is of an unknown origin. Top scientists speculate that perhaps in ancient Egypt there was a time when women went extinct for a single day. Man’s only recourse became a stint with another man’s ear, but the pain of receiving auditory tract penetration – and possibly infection – prevented most men from actively participating. Therefore, to encourage participation, men started saying “Hey, take it in the ear.” Thus, a wondrous holiday was born.
Or maybe it’s just a misspelling and we all should do as Leon “The Ladies’ Man” Phelps said, and “Do it in the butt.”
Colorado Premium Vodka
You may wonder what taking it in the ear feels like. Let me assure you, that it is a bittersweet, unpleasant, but wholly loving experience. At first, you’re like, “That won’t fit”, but damnit, you try and you try, and at the end, it probably still doesn’t fit. That’s alright though; wash down your defeated ear with some Colorado Premium Vodka. The taste was a bit harsh, and smelled strongly of pure alcohol. I found that the bitter taste was the only thing to cleanse my bitter experience. This drink and this day go together like peas in a pod. They were tough to swallow, and not really for me or any of my friends, but hell if they aren’t memorable.
December 19th – Oatmeal Muffin Day
Oh sweet Zeus, yes. Finally a day I can get behind. Not like that in the rear day. Oatmeal Muffins. Yum.
What the fuck is this holiday and why should you care? Obviously it’s the day when we celebrate the person who was awesome enough to look at oatmeal and think to themselves “Hrm…muffins.” Now this seems like a simple enough leap to make, like looking at an egg and thinking “omelet.” But this holiday celebrates more than just the oatmeal muffin. This celebrates innovation and ingenuity. Who made the first Belgium Wheat Beer? Probably a Belgian. But he was the FIRST to put these ingredients together, and right there with the oatmeal muffin creator, we sat aside a day to say “thank you.”
Breckenridge Oatmeal Stout
Is this a cheap cop out? Maybe. Maybe pairing the Oatmeal Stout, a smooth dark delicious alternative to the traditional malt stout is the obvious choice when celebrating the oatmeal muffin, a smooth…dark…alternative to the tradi…
The point here is that obvious pairings work. A fantastically wonderful dark beer made with oat might just be ideal for a muffin made with oat. Wouldn’t the world would be a worse place if people didn’t come along and point at two things, saying “this should go with that”? The combinations wouldn’t exist without a genius innovator to come along and point out the obvious. An innovator…like…ME.
December 21st – Look on the Bright Side Day
Optimism is the light that gets us out of bed on a day when the clouds cover the sun. Hope is the shining ray, a glimmer of silver lining, a force that drives us to move forward when we cannot imagine going on. Look on the Bright Side Day is all about seeing the good in the bad, the right in the wrong, and making the best of an altogether shitty situation.
It is probably no coincidence that this day, according to the Mayans, is also the end of the world.
Dad & Dudes Breweria’s Toffee Porter
Sweet Aphrodite. It was just the other night that this heavenly beverage first hit my lips. On a whim, after a day of Thanksgiving preparations, my girlfriend took me to Dad & Dudes Breweria. And lo, there on the wall, did I see two words on a board. Toffee. Porter. Thusly did I order the elixir, and first experience the magic, the wondrous mix of sweet and bitter, the strong tones and mild aftertaste that make the Toffee Porter. The food was decent. The service was fine. The beer was fucking amazing.
On days when I find that life just sucks, that work is too hard, that I can barely seem to scrape myself together and don’t want to finish playing Super Mario Lost Levels (that shit’s hard), I remember, that somewhere, out in this big world of ours, there exists a Toffee Porter, and it gives me the strength to select “Continue” instead of “Quit.”