Door to Door Holiday Sales

It’s that time of year again. Time for students of all ages to make the rounds of the neighborhood – and for parents to hit up their colleagues, with holiday-time fundraisers. You know the fundraisers I’m talking about – the ones that sell 12” x 12” squares of wrapping paper for $10 each, 6-piece boxes of candy for $12, and candles for $22. Oh joy.

My son, being 7 years older than my daughter, has been out of high school for a while, and my daughter graduated last year, and while I don’t feel the same inclination to purchase from the neighborhood children as I did from my own, I understand these fundraisers are to benefit the PTA (Parent-Teacher Association). Though admittedly, I’m not quite sure exactly what they fund. I’m sure it’s something worthwhile. At least, I remain optimistic that that’s the case.

Since their goal is to raise as much money as possible (I mean, right?), I can’t help but think that if they switched from holiday trimmings, candies, and baubles to whiskey, liqueur, and wine, they’d double if not triple (quadruple??) their revenues. They’d have no shortage of customers, I’m sure…especially among those parents with kids still in school. Hey, you need something to get through those upcoming parent/teacher conferences, not to mention the holiday break. Hell, they’d make a fortune at my house alone, despite my kids being out of school.

As I go to close the door: “No, I’m sorry, I don’t need gold-plated teeny-tiny squares of wrapping paper. Wait, what?? Baileys, you say?? Get back over here!  You came to the right house.  I think you just surpassed your quota, kid.”

Drinkle Balls, Drinkle Balls, Drinkle All the Way

You know, the holidays will be here before we know it. In my neighborhood there are already Christmas lights up on houses and throughout the town, in shop windows and on street lamps (gotta love that small town quaintness) — some were in place even before Thanksgiving. The residents here, as in many areas, are really into their decorations. I guess, I can’t blame them. In one way or another, Christmas has been celebrated for about 2,000 years — and decorations, both indoor and out, are a big part of that, always have been — at least in recent eras. This year, a distiller in London has figured out how to merge the special magic of a Christmas tree with the possible unbridled consumption of “Christmas Cheer.” I found out about this while looking for articles on ideas for spooky pumpkin faces. Go figure.

For about $40, depending on the exchange rate, you can buy a six-pack of clear plastic orbs with screw-off tops that are designed to be hung on a Christmas tree. Each one contains a little over 1.6 ounces (a large shot) of England’s Lakes Distillers premium whiskey. For about $24, you can buy a “mega” ornament that contains almost 5 ounces of Christmas Cheer!  Have they offered these before? If so, why wasn’t I informed!?

click the pic to find out more about these nifty decorations

When I found out that you could also buy these ornaments filled with gin, vodka, or rum, visions of alcohol soaked sugarplums danced in my head. Coupled with my discovery of the fact that whiskey Advent Calendars are also a thing (I mean, seriously where have I been??), I realized there was now a way to become gloriously semi-conscious throughout the season.

I mean, honestly, how cool is this!? Click the picture to read the article.

Being somewhat analytical by nature, I decided to look at the pros and cons of festooning my tree with these ornaments, and the role of an alcohol laden Advent Calendar in the house.

PROS:

  • The unique molecular construction of ethanol (alcohol) will diffuse the light from the tree lights, casting a warm glow of hospitality throughout the room. Yay science!
  • Deciding to hang booze on your tree will impress your friends. My friends, at least.
  • If you are close to losing your mind from watching Burl Ives narrate the Rudolph cartoon for the 19th time, you can lean over and casually pop open an ornament.
  • When you find yourself getting sucked into a political argument with a relative, toss an ornament to them and say, “Hey, Uncle Fred! Put this in your pie hole.” He will thank you and soon forget just what he was carrying on about. Or in the alternative, you can drink one or two or three, and soon not care a hoot about Uncle Fred and his conspiracy theories.
  • These are great for tree-trimming parties. Just be sure your neighbors know the ground rules: “The Drinkable Balls are for the tree, the eggnog is for the guests.”
  • The orbs are reusable. Save the empties until next year. Or hell, refill them throughout the current year. Recycling at its best!
  • The reward aspect of the whiskey Advent Calendar will help to motivate you to get to December 25th by giving you a reason to wake up each day. Oh, don’t roll your eyes at me…we all know how crazy the holidays can be, especially if you have a large, contentious family visiting for the season. Of course, you have to pace yourself…you don’t want to run out by December 2nd. Not saying I would…but, well, you just never know.

CONS:

  • The Drinkle Balls must be placed near the top of the tree to keep tiny hands from trying to find out why these ornaments are so special. Of course, I don’t have that problem any more since my kids are older, so…yay me!
  • Studies have shown that households with high levels of stress usually consume all the balls within two days of being put on the tree. Don’t look at me. They’re not talking about me. Are they? No, no, I mean, no, of course not.
  • Set ground rules for visitors. “My tree is NOT an open bar!” should be your ongoing mantra.
  • Drinkle Balls are filled with whiskey. Whiskey is ethanol. Ethanol can also be used as rocket fuel. It’s okay if you don’t believe me. I swear I read it somewhere but for the life of me, I can’t remember where. But I do know (common sense, people!) that a Drinkle Ball placed too close to hot Christmas tree lights could cause the whiskey to heat and explode, turning your Christmas Tree into a Saturn V rocket launch.
  • On the other hand, the whiskey themed Advent Calendars need to have a time lock to prevent doors from being opened before the date arrives. It would be a real downer to see that you’ve already used the whiskey shots up to 12/24, and it’s only 12/10. Again, not saying I would do that, but…oh, who am I kidding? I would so do that.

What the heck, I think I’m going to get some Drinkle Balls this year.  I mean, what’s the worst thing that could happen?

Winter is Coming

Friends, danger is upon us. We are approaching that time of year when brother will turn against brother, sister will deceive sister, and strangers will come to fisticuffs over dwindling supplies of cherished treasure. There’s only one thing that can bring the madness in our society to such a fever pitch. Yes, my friends, I’m talking about holiday shopping.

Get those elbows ready for pushing people out of the way (I hear a sale on elbow pads starts today!) and start brushing up on your bob-and-weave coordination, it all kicks off today, Black Friday, and soon it will be followed by an all-out Christmas merchandise assault. I don’t know what it is about good deals, but it truly unleashes the beast in some people. Maybe it’s mob mentality that comes from being in large, billowing crowds of shoppers. It overtakes rational thought about how to treat your fellow Man and turns them into your worst adversary. Maybe it’s the pressure of finally get the perfect gift for someone you love. Maybe it’s knowing your friends will all be jealous of the fancy new TV/microwave/laptop you have without being any the wiser that you got it at 50% off, or maybe having the ability to pat oneself on the back over such an awesome deal is in fact part of it. Maybe it’s a mix of all these.

All I know is that people who are out and about doing holiday shopping will get downright mean if their mission is slowed down in any way, even by their own kids. On many an occasion I’ve seen seemingly normal parents threaten their children with the promise that Santa will skip over their house Christmas morning if they even think about throwing a hissy-fit in the middle of the store. If I could relive my kids’ childhood, I personally would’ve used the Krampus threat a lot more than I did…that’s the kind of thing that gets kids to sit up and listen.

I’m not sure who I feel for more when I see these parental showdowns in the middle of a jam-packed store…the exasperated parent driven to Santa-related threats, or the kids for throwing the fit in the first place (or at least those kids where you can tell it’s due to stress and being seriously over-tired). Okay, well, that’s actually an easy one…I feel for the strangers having to deal with both of them when all they want is to make it through the crowds to get their paper towels and toilet paper in peace.

Thank goodness I’m not a child (at least not age-wise anyway). I’ve lost my shit MANY times at the mall and would be a permanent name on Santa’s blacklist if the “no visit for you” rules applied to me. Don’t roll your eyes at me. I may be on the no-fly list for Santa’s sleigh, but it’s for entirely different reasons.

In fact, kids have it pretty good, don’t they? They can get away with a fairly good amount before they face any real consequences. But if one of us so-called “adults” yells and screams and stomps our feet in the middle of a store (maybe even knock over a display or two), all of a sudden here comes security to take us to grown-up timeout, which trust me, doesn’t involve cookies and milk afterwards.

I guess that’s what really separates adults from children. We ALL want to bitch and moan, but adults have learned how to keep all of that inside for the sake of appearances, ulcers and migraines notwithstanding.  Most of the time at least. If there’s ever a time when the rage might be too much to control, it’s in these next couple months. So, please, be careful out there. Winter is coming.