Here at On Tap Sports Net, we like to be festive. Before Halloween, we ranked our favorite candies. At Thanksgiving, we put out a Turkey Day food power rankings and even had a Yankee Swap to filter out what we didn’t want to see on the table. With Christmas just around the corner, members of the On Tap Pop Culture crew got together and drafted their favorite Christmas/holiday snacks, movies, and beverages.
Drink: Peppermint Schnapps & Hot Chocolate
If you haven’t tried this, you’re missing out. I used to make a giant batch of it for a Christmas party at my old apartment with my buddies. It was a hit every time. The best part: you can make it strong and it still tastes incredible. Do yourself a favor. Drink this the next chance you get!
Snack: Potato Pancakes or Latkes
These are fantastic. I always make a point of grabbing them at Chriskindlmarket, either on a lunch break or when I stop by after work for multiple refills of mulled wine. Potato pancakes are typically served with sour cream and apple sauce, either work. I eat these with my hands because a fork is for adults.
I love Elf. I first saw it in a theater when I was a kid and I’ve loved it ever since. I love the holiday season. In fact, my fiance joked that if I was left alone in our apartment with the lights, I would decorate like Will Ferrell does at Gimbel’s. I would. Will Ferrell is so perfect at playing a child-like character, it’s truly impressive. Once Halloween is over (yeah, I’m one of those people), I make a point to watch this immediately.
Drink: Glögg (Mulled Wine)
Some call it Glühwein, others Vinho Quente, and if you married into an English family, you call it Glögg. At the end of the day, you’re taking some red, heating that puppy up, and adding a variety of spices to make a distinct flavour of Christmas (I know it’s spelled wrong Nonnie. Read sentence one again). Whether you’re scooping it out of a crockpot at a holiday party or drinking it out of an overpriced ceramic boot in Daley Plaza, it warms more than your body, it warms your soul too.
Snack: Almond Crescent Cookies
Typically I’m not a sweets guy, I’m team savory. Every Christmas season, I make a happy exception and absolutely devour these bad boys. If I’m not thinking ahead and breaking up my stash into multiple parcels, I’m eating every cookie in round one, 100% of the time.
Movie: Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
First things first. I was tasked with choosing my favorite Christmas movie, not the best. Home Alone was terrific, but I like the sequel more. For starters, the original was almost as much about Kate McCallister’s journey home to be with her son. A terrific story of course, but Kevin and his hijinx were all the exposition I needed, and 20th Centruy Fox clearly agreed. Home Alone 2 gave us what we loved from the original with Harry and Marv facing off against a solo Kevin and his booby traps (if there aren’t already ‘Kevin McCallister is Jigsaw’ theories out there I’ll put pen to paper on it, but I’m positive they exist). Most importantly, they got innovative. They added a new set of adult fodder in the way of the hotel staff, and it was incredible. They added new gags like the electrocuting sink and the multi-level unfinished house. They didn’t just reuse material, they enhanced it. Trick two criminals with the dialog in a fictitious gangster film in the original? Trick five hotel staff members with the sequel to the fictitious gangster film in the actual sequel. That’s meta as hell. Home Alone 2 also gave us the most iconic piece of dialogue in the entire five-movie series. I could go on forever, baby, and maybe I’ll have to do just that. For the time being, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York all day.
In the summer months, I’m a beer guy. Hell, I’m a beer guy all year long, but I’m the definition of your “average Joe domestic light beer drinker.” Specialty holiday brews, as delicious as you may talk them up to be, just aren’t my thing. While you’re explaining how wonderful Goose Island’s Christmas IPA is or how I have to try Revolution’s Fistmas, I’ll be pouring myself a Maker’s Mark Manhattan. Before you shoot me your oddball whiskey brands that would be so much better, remember that you’re talking to a man of simple tastes here. Various establishments may fancy-up this cocktail, but I’ll stick with my go-to recipe: ice, one shot of Gallo sweet vermouth, two shots of Maker’s Mark, a cherry, and a dash of Rose’s grenadine. It’s been peaking my tastebuds and warming my soul during the holiday season for years now; never change anything ever.
Snack: Potato Chip Cookies
Like Grandpa Schwartzy, I am a dedicated member of team savory. Excessive cavity fillings in my younger years may have deterred me from the sweets, but I recently discovered a way to consume the best of both worlds: potato chip cookies dipped in chocolate. Potato chip cookies? Sounds odd, tastes delicious. It’s not like biting into an actual potato chip, as it still has your standard cookie consistency. You initially get a hint of the “potato chip” flavor portion, and then the sweetness from the chocolate swarms in for a delectable combination. My friend Shaelyn is an excellent baker, and she introduced me to these godly creations just last week. In the embedded photo from her baking Instagram page (go follow it) below, the potato chip cookie dipped in chocolate is located one above the bottom right cookie in the pan.
Movie: Bad Santa
Apologies to your wholesome, heartwarming classics, but I enjoy raunchy humor 24/7/365. Christmas isn’t an outlier. The contrasting builds of Billy Bob Thornton (Willie) and Tony Cox (Marcus) teaming up to pull off Christmas-time robberies as Santa and an elf never fails to make me laugh, no matter how many times I’ve seen it.
Amidst all the alcohol-fueled outbursts, petty crimes, and “intimate” scenes, there are a few hidden gems in this movie. The interactions between John Ritter as mall manager (Bob Chipeska) and Bernie Mac as mall security director (Gin) are absolutely hysterical. RIP to both.
There is one thing that bothers me about this movie, however. The fact that Brett Kelly didn’t win an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance as Thurman Merman still keeps me up at night.
Well, there you have it, folks. Let us know what your holiday combo would be in the comments or Twitter replies. No matter what your preference is, pour a holiday drink, pick out a holiday snack, and throw on a holiday movie to get in the spirit before all your family parties get underway next week. Happy Holidays from everyone here at On Tap Sports Net!