Spreading the holiday cheer: Crafty Connie’s solutions
Your Domestic Dilemma: “I need some festive ideas for the holiday season! What do you recommend for food, drink and decoration?”
Crafty Connie’s Answer:
Ah yes, the holiday season. A time to eat, drink and be merry. Actually, it’s usually a time to drink, inducing merriment followed by drunchies. (I would submit the cookie monster is perpetually hammered. He’s addicted to cookies—who knows what really makes him a monster?) Realizing how much you ate the next day may restart the cycle until New Year’s, when you and the rest of the United States resolve to lose 10 pounds and maybe take a break from drinking until someone offers you a mimosa.
Decorations can really liven up a room, putting you and your guests in a giving mood. Maybe they’ll start giving you money for all the alcohol of yours they drink, but I wouldn’t count on it. Mostly, cheerful holiday decorations help remind you that there’s no better way to celebrate than buying light-up plastic things. Many people in Tacoma, because they are more festive and loving than you and I, have taken this advice to heart.
Their homes are visible from space due to the plethora of light-up plastic things adorning their lawns, gardens, roofs and trees. These people are clearly so taken with the holiday spirit that they would never mind you borrowing a light-up plastic thing of your own.
Despite the obvious generosity of these people, there are a few key criteria when selecting your own friendly light-up plastic things to brighten your dark and humble home. Portability is a big one. If, hypothetically, you had to jump a fence and sprint down an alleyway carrying the thing, could you? Also, will it fit discreetly inside your home? That giant inflatable Bart Simpson Santa thing sure looks good on their lawn, but it may overwhelm your living room. Another valuable consideration is accessibility. Items on rooftops are generally out, as are items attached to trees.
A final reminder: light-up plastic things have plugs. Do not attempt to remove a light-up plastic thing without finding the plug. Doing so may result in getting yourself lit up, possibly by the Tacoma Police Department, but more likely by enough electricity to power the small Tokyo that is your friendly neighbor’s lawn.
Once you’ve decorated enough to get into the seasonal mood (i.e. depression; they don’t call it “seasonal affective disorder” for nothing), there are a few classic drinks that are welcome at any winter festivity. Try mixing up some peppermint hot chocolate. Boil some hot water, or as much milk as your giving roommate would want you to have, and mix in powdered cocoa and peppermint schnapps. The vapor should be eye-watering. Absorbing substances through your eyeballs is one of the quickest ways to get them into your bloodstream. Keep your face nice and close.
Eggnog and brandy is another top-notch holiday combo. Actually, a higher notch is just brandy. Eggnog is really fattening and kind of weird. I’d recommend a smooth and delicious brandy, such as E&J, also known as “Easy Jesus.” This is particularly appropriate if you celebrate Christmas, or dislike your liver.
There are many excellent culinary traditions that stem from the holidays, most of which your relatives know how to cook better than you do. Wait until you are reunited with them and hope they feel generous. Until then, you can survive off of the remaining strange collection of food in your cupboard. This may or may not include: a packet of Ramen, a potato which is now its own ecosystem, stale crackers, pasta (no pasta sauce), rice and lots of strange assorted cans. Eat the Ramen, and then take all of your cans and put them in a canned food drive box, like the “Food for Fines” box in the library. You probably have some overdue books anyway.
PHOTO COURTESY / FLICKR.COM: ARONTAGARCIA