Hot Chocolate and the Best Yard Sale Find Ever
After I graduated from college I went home to live with my parents for a year before I started graduate school. Two of my high school friends also returned to our hometown, and the three of us divided our time between our lousy part-time jobs (I worked in a supermarket deli, one friend was a waitress, and the other ran a sandwich shop) and the bar. We partied. We had more boys after us than we’ve ever had since. We had no major responsibilities. We were miserable.
When Christmas rolled around that year, we all had to work Christmas Eve until mid-afternoon. It had snowed the day before, but the Christmas Eve broke sunny and not-too-cold, and so we decided to go sledding. All activities in those days required alcohol, of course, and the occasion called for something particularly festive. We decided upon a little concoction we dubbed “Christmas Cheer.”
Christmas Cheer is disgusting. Here’s the recipe:
2 heaping teaspoons instant hot chocolate per partaker
1 cup hot water per partaker
Peppermint schnapps, I’d say to taste, but it was really more to obliterate
1 candy cane per partaker
Instant whipped cream, if desired
Boil the water
Add instant hot chocolate to mug
Add boiling water to about three-quarters full, and stir
Add schnapps (or shnappies, as my friends would say), and stir
Spray whipped cream on top, if desired
Add candy cane—Festive!
Repeat, as often as desired
I don’t remember much of the sledding trip, but I do remember singing Christmas carols at the top of our lungs and feeling absolutely awful afterwards (but with minty fresh breath!). It was the best Christmas Eve ever. All anyone has to say is “Christmas Cheer, wink wink,” and we’ll sigh and get all misty-eyed with remembrance of our last carefree days.
Last Christmas one of the friends flew in to see her family. I picked her up in Boston, and we hung out for the evening at my place before heading to New Hampshire for the festivities. On a lark I had procured a bottle of peppermint schnapps under the pretence of making Christmas Cheer. We drank red wine and reminisced about it instead. Feeling wise and hangover-free, we left for New Hampshire the next day.
, apparently short of booze for the holidays, broke into my apartment while I was away and stole my Christmas Cheer. My guess is that he spent Christmas Day avoiding all things merry and bright.