Love & Hate: Holidays/Observances

There are some days that mark the calendar that we greatly look forward to. Others, we’d rather not come to pass and perhaps even disappear entirely. The Sip Advisor is going to look at these occasions, some of which I’m a fan of and others I loathe. Let’s start with days to love:

Christmas

Christmas reminds me of the sentiment about pizza: even bad pizza is still pizza. For example, our COVID Christmases have somehow turned out to be good, despite restrictions and a general lack of holiday cheer. As a kid, Christmas is everything. Once Boxing Day hits, preparation for the next Christmas – and the presents that come with it – move into full gear. As an adult, there is still a lot of fun to be had with a series of days off and when you become a parent, you get to live the season through the kids’ experience. It can be a hectic and stressful time, but worth it all.

Halloween

Great as a kid, perhaps even better as an adult. When you’re young, with candy on the line, you would walk for miles to get your hands on the sweet stuff. To quote Garfield: Candy! Candy! CANDY!!! Adult Halloween parties are fantastic or at least an excuse to continue the Halloween extracurriculars when you can no longer justify trick-or-treating. Now, as a parent, I’ve come to greatly enjoy the night out with the Sipplings, although that is probably bolstered by my love of drinking outside and having a stroller to hold my wares.

halloween

Easter

Four days off for the rebirth of Jesus? Um, yes please. We’ve used the break to go to Vegas, Seattle, Disneyland, Portland (for back-to-back Beer and Wine Festivals) and other getaways. Plus, who can turn down all the chocolate eggs, jelly beans and other sweets that come with the holiday? Even that fake grass that’s used to fill out Easter baskets has become an item of fondness for many. My only complaint about Easter would be there’s not a lot of obvious viewing choices connected with the holiday, which is different than Christmas and Halloween.

So, those are the holidays the Sip Advisor particularly loves. Not let’s see the other side of the ledger and the days I hate:

New Year’s Eve

Every year, there’s this pressing need to have an epic plan for the occasion and it never goes off accordingly. Events get cancelled, people get lame and bail, etc. Among our NYE duds was when Mrs. Sip and I got engaged at Christmas and planned to announce it to a group of friends on New Year’s. Thanks to it being a mid week December 31st and there being a light snowfall, our guest list dwindled down to three people. We still gave our good news, but it felt anticlimactic. I will say, we’ve had some good New Year’s Eves, but they often consist of taking things easier, staying at home or going for a meal.

New Year's Eve

Valentine’s Day

Mrs. Sip and I actually prefer to celebrate Valentine’s Day before or after the actual date. Why pay double for things like flowers and chocolates? I prefer to get the same items for their regular price, or in the case of chocolate, at a discounted price, as stores try to move the items after February 14th. And hell, you really shouldn’t need a specific day to show that special person in your life just how important they are to you. That’s a year-round commitment. Lastly, there’s the folks who find Valentine’s Day to be a real downer because of relationship issues. All-in-all, V-Day is meh.

Daylight Saving Time

It’s absolutely ridiculous that we still go through this changing of clocks twice each year. Many professionals have debunked the whole reasoning behind its beginnings and point to how unnecessary the whole ordeal is. It’s even worse as parents of young kids, when you have no clue how the change will affect them and for how long. Will they wake up an hour earlier than usual, which means you’ll lose sleep as well? The stress of what will happen just isn’t worth it. Let’s just agree to finally kibosh the whole thing.

Before wrapping this post up, here are some quick thoughts of mine on other holidays and observances (in chronological order):

Lunar New Year: I will never turn down a good Chinese meal.

Groundhog Day: What a ridiculous thing to highlight on any calendar.

Family Day: This was an awesome addition to the calendar when we were childless. Now it just means I have to spend time with the fam! J

Family Day

St. Patrick’s Day: Green beers and banishing snakes… what’s there to complain about?

Cinqo de Mayo: Tacos and margaritas… what’s there to complain about?

Mother’s Day/Father’s Day: After fours years as one, parents deserve all the praise they can get.

Labour Day: I’m split here. It signifies the end of summer, but also inspires you to have one last big bash before the season is out.

Thanksgiving: A perfect excuse to eat and drink to excess.

Love & Hate: Bah Humbug!

Bah Humbug

  • 1 oz White Rum
  • 1 oz Peach Schnapps
  • 1 oz Orange Liqueur
  • Top with Orange Juice
  • Splash of Lemon-Lime Soda
  • Garnish with a Lime Wheel

Agree or disagree with my holiday assessments? Think I’m just a bitter man, who needs to take a chill pill? Let me know in the comments below. Just remember, I’m always right and that’s a position I’m not willing to budge from!

Sip Trips #51: Amazing Advent (Part 6)

I have to keep saying how much fun this craft beer advent calendar has been and I implore anyone out there to do it for their significant other. Sure, it’s costly, but as I joked with Mrs. Sip, I probably would have spent the same amount throughout the month otherwise! Let’s look at days 19-22:

Day 19: Big Rock Rauchbier

When Big Rock opened their Urban Eatery location in Vancouver and Mrs. Sip and I were able to visit for the first time, I fell in love with this beer (or bier, if you will!). I have not been shy of the fact that I love smoky beers, spirits, and cocktails and this is a very good option for one of those categories. Having now tried a bottled version of this beer, I’m still hooked and love the caramel smoky campfire taste that finishes each sip.

Big Rock Rauchbier

Day 20: Wychwood Bah Humbug

In the past, I have at least once included this brew in the advent calendar I put together annually for Mrs. Sip, but this time I was the recipient. It doesn’t get much more Christmas-themed than calling your beer Bah Humbug and featuring Ebenezer Scrooge, himself, on the label. I wish more of Wychwood’s (based in Oxfordshire, U.K.) brews made their way to North American stores, as some look really neat. They even have a line of potato chips.

wychwood bah humbug

Day 21: Spinnakers Festive Saison

Having recently enjoyed their Oyster Stout (of all things!), I was happy to see a Spinnakers beer pop up in the advent calendar. The Victoria-based brew pub releases their Festive Saison – a blend of spiced saison and apple cider – annually. This beer was very good, one of my favourite from the entire month. The brewery suggests that the beer pairs well with a burger, but I can vouch for it working with bad Hallmark Christmas movies!

Spinnakers Festive Saison

Day 22: Granville Island Twisted Twin Dunkelweizen

Granville Island Brewing is Vancouver’s oldest micro-brewery and while some debate whether it still deserves a spot in this group, their small batch releases keep them in the conversation. I tried a sample of the Dunkelweizen at this year’s Hopscotch Festival and was impressed that GIB would bring such a unique offering and not just their flagship brews. I have still yet to try the brewery’s Cocoa Loco Chocolate Porter, but will remedy that before the season is done.

GIB-twisted-twin

The finish line of the craft beer advent calendar is now within sight, although I wish it would disappear amongst the inclement weather the season is typical of. Join us next time for the final two brews and the Sip Advisor’s final thoughts!