Holidays spirits, hot chocolate and big red bows |

Holidays spirits, hot chocolate and big red bows

April E. Clark
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
April in Glenwood

I just saw a commercial on TV that said holidays are for eating and shopping. If we’re keeping score here, then I’m one for two.

My pocketbook is the trim one in this equation.

Since Thanksgiving, I have come into the holidays hot. And by that I mean by drinking hot chocolate with marshmallows melted on top with a splash of adult creamer. And by adult creamer, I mean Irish creme. I always seem to burn my tongue in that scenario. And I just did it again. I’m 79 for 80 there.

The marshmallows get me every time.

Shopping is low on my priority list since I don’t have kids or 20-plus second cousins to buy for this holiday season. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy shopping. I do have my family members I’d love to bestow gifts upon on Dec. 25. And shopping for them is the fun part.

I just don’t like shopping at 3 in the morning. I’m also not a big fan of lines of grumpy people shopping at 3 in the morning. So the whole Black Friday thing for me is unnecessary.

Because I am the queen of necessity.

I spent my Black Friday eating. I also watched some football. Then ate some more. So I’m at least doing half of what the holidays are for, according to said television commercial. But I’m not that easily enticed. I know the holidays are more for just eating and shopping.

And watching television.

By watching a lot of television on Black Friday, I am now under the impression the holidays are for eating and, more specifically, shopping for luxury cars. Because nothing says Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah more than a Lexus with a big red bow on top.

At least in the circles I run with (when I’m asleep).

Unfortunately, I have not had the thrill of waking up Christmas morning to a Lexus with a big red bow on top. With the number of luxury car commercials planting that idea in my mind, I might start to believe it could really happen. I still believe in Santa Claus.

And by Santa, I mean you, Dad.

Unless a winning lottery ticket falls into my possession in the next few weeks, I don’t think a new Lexus with a red bow on top will be on my giving or receiving list this year. If anything, I’ll probably be making holiday gifts. Which means I won’t be handing out money. Unless by money I mean hand-made gift certificates worth $200 in April time.

Get ready to eat and watch a lot of TV.

The saying goes that the thought counts, but let’s be realistic here. A new Kindle, iPhone or Lexus sure beats a bottle of homemade bath salts I made with Epsom salts, some food coloring and some fragrant oils.

I could revisit the year I made homemade Irish creme with my friend Tari. This will leave you with a bottle of homemade liqueur that may or may not sit on top of the fridge for three years because everyone’s afraid to drink it.

Making it is the fun part anyway.

The night Tari and I made the homemade liqueur, we started off with good enough intentions. Put on some Christmas music and Dave Matthews to help us in the mood department. Dave never fails.

Especially when he’s singing “Christmas Song.”

Dip some peppermint sticks in chocolate, bag up some cocoa, and there’s a little stocking stuffer. Break out the vodka and experimentation of liqueur recipes and the holidays are not just for eating and shopping anymore. The holidays are for feeling especially creative with spirits and making up an idea for our own cooking show starring Dave Matthews.

It could happen.

The key to homemade holiday liqueur making is patience and moderation in sampling. This is key, but not necessarily necessary. We found it extremely difficult not to sample the product when others would be someday sampling the product. The problem is the more we sampled, the stronger the liqueur became. And the more we laughed.

Maybe that’s why it was sitting on top of the fridge three years later.

Despite what the television tells me, I know there is more to the holidays than eating and shopping. Giving and receiving can come in all different forms, from handcrafted coupons to luxury cars with big red bows on the top. And sitting down to holiday dinners with family and friends. I think I’ll stick with eating.

My odds are better.

-April E. Clark is still a Colts fan. She can be reached at

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