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12 Drinks of Christmas

12 Drinks of Christmas

From decorating and holiday shopping to Hallmark Christmas movies...we think each holiday event deserves a drink! Read the "12 Drinks of Christmas"  below, new drink suggestions and survival tips will be added daily on 

The holidays are in full swing folks! Some love this time of year, while others find it to be stressful and sucky. I toast the people who wear Christmas sweaters and put their tree up a week before Thanksgiving. My Aunt Kathy embodies the Christmas spirit, she has a tree in every room, a miniature replica of Santa's North Pole Village in her family room and bakes cookies for half the county. I am training myself to enjoy and embrace the holidays. I will find the joy in the Christmas chores and traditions, and I will do it with drinks!

1. Decorating

Nothing like climbing in the attic to haul down the Christmas decorations. I open boxes and begin the untangling process. I untangle lights, garland and those little ornament hanger hooks that have morphed into a large ball of twisted metal. At this point, I find myself becoming agitated by my family's sloppy packing process from the year before. Rather than scream "Who the hell put all the glass ornaments in the trash bag?!", I decide to take a breath and make a festive treat!

Cider & Crown Royal Apple Whiskey
1  part Crown Apple
1 part Apple Cider
Serve this warm or pour over ice

Well now that is much better! I smile and take the broken ornaments to the trash that are already conveniently in a garbage bag.

2. Lights

I have masterfully untangled the thousand feet of string lights yesterday so I will have no issue wrapping them around anything that sits still in the front yard. I make sure to space the lights evenly. I am confused as to why they aren't working upon the completion of my project, I checked each string before I started. I get out the tester and check each bulb, and although my hands are turning numb from the cold weather, my blood begins to boil. Now in the past, I might take a few strings and rip them off the shrubs, slam them on the sidewalk, and jump up and down to hear each white light crack. Not the positive me this year. I pause to reflect and realize that if I will step away for a bit, I will solve the problem later. I walk to get a beer out of the fridge. 

Sam Adams Winter Lager has just enough holiday spice notes to warm my cold angry mood, but mild enough to be smooth and drinkable, thus extinguishing my rage.

I will walk to the breaker box with a smile, knowing that I will end up buying all new lights tomorrow when I can't solve the light issue.

3. Christmas Cards

How is that my husband, daughter and myself didn't take one decent picture together all year? I have plenty of Chris and Regan, Regan and me, or Regan and the dog. If we do have one together I have a beer in my hand and my mother said that wasn't appropriate from last year's card. I will find an acceptable photo and get on a webiste to make the most precious card yet! I take hours picking the best font, cropping and editing, deciding on matte or glossy post cards. When I click the finish button and the website locks up and gives me an error message, I would normally throw my middle fingers up at the Mac screen and repeat "You are such a worthless piece of shit!" over and over. Not me in 2014, baby! I slide my chair away from the desk. I decide to throw back a shot, not throw my laptop out the window. 

Cinnful Churro
1 oz. Smirnoff Cinna-Sugar Vodka
.5 oz. Bailey's Irish Cream
Shake in ice and strain in glass

I feel calm until I type in the quantity I need and realize I will have to refinance the house to pay for the Christmas cards. I take another shot. How about we just send a festive Facebook greeting and email this year? All is calm, all is bright.

4. Christmas Lists and Budgets

My husband and I argue about the "List" every year. He doesn't believe that anyone I pay should receive a gift. "The dry cleaner doesn't clean your sweaters for free Holly, they should get you a gift!". I disagree and know that the holiday gift card I give will give back another year of on-time perefectly pressed pants. This gifting debate funnels into the holiday budget conversation. As I am lectured on my poor spending habits, I can't open the bottle of wine quick enough.

Barefoot Merlot
Rich berry flavors with a hint of chocolate make this a well balanced, drinkable wine. This is a great wine to have on hand and it pairs well with any meal.

I pledge to be more money conscious and point out that the Barefoot Merlot I am drinking was on sale for $4.99. Cheers to my frugalty!

5. Holiday Shopping

My dad used to say, "I am not a shopper, I am a buyer". I use the same sentiment about myself. I go to a store, walk in, buy my items and get out. I am fast and efficient. I don't haggle or compare prices. I don't like buying with others, because they like to shop. I spend 45 minutes searching for a parking spot. When I believe I have found the prime spot, I feel deflated when I whip my truck in just to slam on the brakes discovering a SmartCar. After proclaiming my disdain for tiny vehicles, I park two football fields away from the mall entrance. We walk across the frozen tundra to enter stores whose temperatures mimic the Amazon. I carry not only my coat, but my mother's and daughter's coats and all of our shopping bags throughout the crowded retail space. I begin to lose feeling in my arm due to the circulation that is cut off from the bag handles. I sweat while shoppers bump into me and wait for my Mom to decide if my sister would like the turquoise sweater or the robin's egg blue sweater. At this point, the old me's jaw would clinch and say through my teeth, "Mom, they are the same, pick one dammit, and let's move on with our lives". This year, I tell her to take her time and she can find me at the bar and grill located 4 stores down. 

Woodchuck Hard Cider
It is crisp and refreshing, but not as sweet as other ciders. I honestly lean more towards this beer largely due to it's ABV of 5.5%.

The frosted glass full of beer and the comfort of the vinyl bar stool puts me back into the holiday shopping spirit. I am now able to resume my pack mule duties for another three hours and do it with a smile.

6. Gift Wrapping

Bags, tags, rolls and ribbon consume my kitchen table. I gauge the size of each gift and determine the least amount of paper I need. I usually find success wrapping the first few gifts. I then get cocky and don't cut enough paper for the next package. My mess up paper won't work for any other gift, of course. I begin to grow bored and tired of wrapping and my work gets sloppier with each gift. At this point, I usually say screw it and put every gift in a bag that may or may not have a Christmas theme. This year I take a break and find a pick me up in a caffeine injected cocktail. 

Espresso Martini
2 parts vodka
1 part Kahlua
1 part esspresso or really strong coffee, cold
A dash of powdered sugar
Shake with ice and strain in a martini glass.

I sip my caffeine concoction and complete my wrapping task. I then realize I forgot to tag some gifts and have no idea what they are or who they go to. We will all get a good laugh when Grandma opens a beard trimmer at the family gift exchange.

7. Christmas Cookies

I can't do a lot of things well, but I am not too shabby of a cook. Cooking is NOT baking. The two are completely different activites. Baking requires precise measurements and timing. A "dash of this" technique doesn't jive with making desserts. But, alas, I must bake cookies for Santa. I take my time and measure and mix. My daughter's contribution is spreading the flour on the counter. My kitchen now looks like a scene out of Scarface. Timer dings, they don't look done, I return the cookie sheet to the oven. A few minutes later I smell burning snowmen. It is quite disturbing. I calmly bury the burn victim snowmen in the garbage and roll out more dough. We end up with 7 edible cookies 3 dozen later. Regan and I consider it a win! I let her know that Santa would rather have a Miller Lite and Pringles, he is tired of cookies. We enjoy hot chocolate with the few surviving snowmen. I decide to give my Swiss Miss a kick...

Irish Miss
1 Packet of Swiss Miss
6 oz. boiling hot water
1.5 oz. Bailey's Irish Cream Liquer
1 oz. Smirnoff Fluffed Marshmallow vodka
Mix together and enjoy.

The hot chocolate and cookies provide a massive sugar rush and Regan is bouncing off the walls which brings the Scarface theme full circle.

8. Obligatory Holiday Parties

I am aware that the folks I work with don't really care to see me any more than they have to, therefore, I don't have a company Christmas party. I have attended many holiday parties throughout my life and have observed two things. One, most office parties end up poorly when booze is involved. It seemed fun to xerox your ass at the time. Two, if your company party doesn't have drinks then it's not a party, it's just another required meeting. Here is my advice to those out there who have to attend a company shindig. Don't drink. You read correctly, I actually said not to consume alcohol. Enjoy a few glasses of Sprite, shake hands and make an exit after the gift exchange. Get home, pour a glass of wine, and break open that sausage cheese sampler you received for a year of hard work.

Bogle Essential Red
This 98 Wine Spectator rated red blend will not disappoint. A great wine for under $13 that pairs well with summer sausage, cheese logs and the Jam of the Month club.

You wake up the next day feeling relieved, because you didn't get shit-faced and tell your coworkers they are all lazy idiots. Those kind of statements will put a dent in the holiday spirit and your bank account.

9. Hallmark Christmas Movies

My mom is addicted to the Hallmark channel due to the "Made for TV" holiday movies that run in December. These movies always have a far fetched theme and happy sappy ending. I usually watch the movies with her, but I provide unwanted commentary throughout the film. I decide to keep my sarcasm to myself this year and not go on a ten minute rant about how terrible the actors are, how the snow looks ridiculously fake, or how the plot is chock full of bullshit. I pop some corn and make sangria before the cheesefest begins.

Holly's Sangria
1 Bottle of Pheasant Hollow Black and Blue
1 c. cranberry juice
1 c. pomegranate juice
1/2 c. triple sec
1/2 c. brandy
Mix in pitcher and add orange/apple slices and grapes. Serve over ice.

Thank you Hallmark for reminding us that Christmas isn't about materialistic treasures, it is about falling in love with an old highschool sweetheart that happens to be wealthy and famous, a dreamy widower with perfect well adjusted children that adore you, or an attractive stranger that gets stranded in your quaint small town over the holidays due to an engine problem with his private jet.

10. Christmas Music

FaLaLaLaLaLoss of hearing would be appreciated after I hear "Grandma Got Ran Over by a Reindeer" for the third time in an hour. I am aware that some may enjoy Justin Beiber's poppy rendition of "Little Drummer Boy", but I am saddened that the grocery store piped it in and upped the volume so you cannot tune it out. Rather than having a nervous breakdown in the frozen food section, I decide to have fun and sing along. But. I purposely sing off-key inappropriately loud. I deserve a beer for making the pissed of cashier crack a smile after she throws my groceries across the scanner like it's an olympic event.

Blue Moon Gingerbread Spiced Ale
The ginger and cinnamon spice makes this a perfect wintertime ale. If Christmas were a beer, this is how it would taste. The bitterness is balanced by the sweet molasses flavor. The Blue Moon Sampler holds two of each seasonal craft. So, if Gingerbread Ale isn't our flavor, you have 5 others to choose from. 

11. Famliy Gatherings

This is the best and hardest part of the holidays. You may have a well adjusted family that gets along...that is hard for me to type without shaking my head in disbelief. Most families have some issues. Strained relationships don't usually find repair during the holidays due to added stress. I begin to shake when I think about the schedules and traveling, knowing I am bound to upset someone with my attempt to appease another. The holidays are a reminder of how much our families and lives have changed. Discussions about your hurt feelings from childhood don't make for a good pairing with glazed ham and green bean casserole, but riesling sure does!!

Relax Riesling
This appropriately named wine is refreshing and crisp. The apple, peach and citrus notes give this wine a nice balance of dry and sweet.

I will relax and roll through this Christmas season. I will let passive aggressive comments slide and remind myself of how blessed I am to have food on the table and a family to argue with.

12. New Year's Eve

Where are we going? Who is going with us? How are we getting home? And what the hell do I wear? I don't know about you, but New Year's Eve is never the correct payoff to the stress investment made prior. This year rather than freak out about creating the perfect evening and finding the best party dress, I will enjoy my perfectly imperfect home! A champagne toast in yoga pants and fuzzy slippers will be a perfect way to end a very hectic year.

Barefoot Bubbly Brut Cuvee
A light bubbly champagne with notes of citrus and apple. The price and flavor are easy going and refreshing. 

Thanks for shopping at RollnUp and letting me keep my job. My resolution for 2015 is to find the positives in life's struggles by hitting the pause button every once in a while and pouring myself a drink. I hope you and your families have a safe and happy holiday season!

Cheers to 2015!