December 22 – The North Pole

Sweater Shop

In recent years, ugly Christmas sweaters have become more of a popular theme for holiday parties. Some offices will even host an annual competition with employees showing off their hard-on-the-eyes winter warmers. Here are some of the funniest entries I was able to locate!

Operation Red Nose

This gives a whole new meaning to Operation Red Nose! It takes a lot of balls (or in this case ovaries) to wear an outfit likes this. It’s not so much that the top is ugly… just bizarre. I bet that nose becomes quite the target at any party she goes to and I pray she never chooses this wardrobe for going to the clubs… guys on the dance floor are big enough losers without falling all over themselves for stuff like this.

Joy to the World

If this is what they meant, I don’t want to wish joy to the world! This guy looks incredibly uncomfortable and I’m not sure if that’s because of the sweater or his weight. Perhaps he hasn’t left that couch for ages and he’s still dawning this sweater despite the photo being taken in mid summer. Quit staring and make him some fried chicken.

Frosty's Nose

I feel bad for women. When they are depicted as being droopy, it means saggy breasts… but when a dude is just as droopy, it means a massively large member. This guy’s sweater could be misinterpreted as Frosty throwing up in the middle of a keg stand. If these two get close together does that put the sweater snowmen in a compromising 69 position?

Santa's Elves

It’s never a good idea to put your face on a shirt… let alone an ugly Christmas sweater. How are either of these octogenarians supposed to cheat on their spouse when they’re wearing each other’s faces!? I find it funny that the woman has the exact same smile in her sweater photo that she’s offering to the camera person here, too. If Mrs. Sip and I ever wear matching clothes, it’s time to consider a separation.

Sleeveless

I’m not sure I’m a fan of the sleeveless look. No wait, I’m definitely not a fan of the sleeveless look. It’s not very functional either, as the moment you step outside into the frigid air, you’re going to be pretty damn cold! Sure, this guy has a lot of beef on him to help keep him warm, but I just don’t think it would be enough and perhaps that’s all for the best.

Drink #356: The North Pole

The North Pole Drink Recipe

  • 1.5 oz Grey Goose Cherry Noir
  • 0.5 oz Peppermint Schnapps
  • Top with Milk
  • Squirt of Chocolate Syrup
  • Garnish with a Candy Cane

Always looking for a good laugh, I appreciate all these folk’s self-deprecating efforts. If you know of some even uglier Christmas sweaters, send them the Sip Advisor’s way and give me a good chuckle!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
My version of the cocktail didn’t turn out as dark as others I have seen online (I should have used a little more Chocolate Syrup), but it tasted decent and really, that’s the most important element of a cocktail. I’ve really enjoyed using all these Candy Canes in the various cocktails presented through the 25 Days of Christmas.

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December 21 – Santa Shot

Sweet Season

More candy goes through the Sip Advisor offices this time of the year than any other. It doesn’t help that I give Mrs. Sip an advent calendar treat every day leading up to Christmas and Ma and Pa Sip are quite generous with care packages and the like. While there may be too much to go around, it’s all appreciated and here are some of my favourites!

M&Ms

Whether the plain or peanut variety, it doesn’t take long for these Christmas candies to disappear from any bowl they’re poured into. What’s best about the M&Ms company is that they’re always experimenting with different adaptations of their popular product. This year, we’ve really enjoyed their Gingerbread limited release and they have also brought out Mint Chocolate and White Chocolate Peppermint varieties.

Peanut M&Ms

Yeah, fasting around Christmas is whack, yo!

Turtles

Mmmm, I love Turtles. While not being a fan of pecans on their own, there’s just something about these clustered treats that are so good. I blame the wonderfulness of caramel, which is such a delicious ingredient in any recipe it is featured. I’ve noticed this year that there are a couple new options in the Turtles line, including Pecan Praline and Pecan Fudge Brownie. Me thinks I should arrange a taste test with my fellow Turtles lovers!

Mini Eggs

While originally an Easter-only treat, Mini Eggs have migrated to the Christmas holiday, as well. Instead of coming in colours like yellow, blue, and pink, the palette has been changed to red and green, with both packs including white eggs. It’s extremely difficult to only pop one or two of these treats into your mouth. In the end, you’re more likely to have shoveled dozens of the eggs down your gullet like a slithering snake. At least us civilized folk don’t have to regurgitate the shells!

Candy Canes

How could one forget Candy Canes at this time of year? You don’t even have to settle for the mint-flavoured ones anymore, as the treats are available in nearly every flavour. I’m still waiting for Mrs. Sip to open the genital-shaped candy cane I bought her a couple Christmases ago as a gag gift (literally!?), although it has slowly disappeared in one of our cupboards, perhaps to never see the light of day ever again!

candycane

Chocolate Santa

For the homicidal maniac and cannibal in all of us, sometimes grabbing a massive chocolate Santa and taking his head off in one quick bite can be quite rewarding. I can’t decide if I prefer hollowed out Santa’s or the thicker full chocolate Santa’s which you can gnaw on for hours. The same principles apply to everything from chocolate snowmen to reindeer to trees and every other symbol of the holiday season.

Toblerone

A favourite of Pa Sip (and the Sip Advisor), I can still remember travelling through Switzerland and picking up Toblerone bars en masse whenever we had a chance over our two-day tour stop. Chocolate is something that actually helps you adjust to high altitudes, se we had a good excuse to indulge in the Swiss treat. I’ve always been curious about the massive Toblerone bars they sell at Christmas and how long it would take to vanquish it from existence!

Toblerone

Reese Products

The massive peanut butter cups that have been released the last couple years are crazy enormous. I like how the Reese company has partnered with the NHL to make their peanut butter cups resemble hockey pucks. If you’re looking for smaller doses of peanutty goodness, there are also peanut butter trees, bells, and even snowmen. With all those options, you’ll probably be sick of peanut butter by the end of the holidays!

Peppermint Bark

Mrs. Sip loves her Peppermint Bark. Myself, not as much as other options, but I do appreciate the stuff as a snacking option. Chocolate and mint make a pretty wicked pair and they seem to bring their collective A-game to the Christmas holidays. This is one of the few things on this list that you could actually make yourself, but why waste your time when there are so many quality products already out there and you don’t need to deal with all the fuss of doing it yourself.

Drink #355: Santa Shot

Santa Shot Shooter

  • Rim glass with Crushed Candy Canes
  • 0.5 oz Peppermint Schnapps
  • 0.5 oz Crème de Menthe
  • 0.5 oz Grenadine

What’s your favourite Christmas time candy? Make sure to send some my way, so we can experience all the joys of the holidays together… and then we can hit the gym in the New Year and work off all this treat goodness!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
This shot can be found under other names (Candy Cane Shooter, etc.), but the recipe doesn’t change. It tells you to layer the ingredients in the following order: Grenadine, Crème de Menthe, Peppermint Schnapps for the desired layering effect. I found that the clear Peppermint Schnapps at the top of the shooter was too hard to really see, so I decided to blend the two mint ingredients for a better visual effect. The shot tastes pretty good, despite a fair dose of Grenadine.

December 7 – Winter is Coming

Yuletide Legends

Urban legends can be so fascinating. Movies and websites have been made to cover all of the crazy (yet sometimes true) theories out there. And Christmas is not safe from urban legends. Here are some of the most intriguing:

Suicidal Dream

Christmas is supposed to be one of happiest times of the year. For some, though, that just makes it all the more miserable. But the theory that more people commit suicide during the holidays over any other time of the year is pure myth. So, while the holidays may drive you crazy, as you visit with relatives you don’t particularly care for and battle with fellow shoppers to find the perfect gifts… it at least won’t drive you to kill yourself!

Assisted_Suicide

Candied Cane

While we recognize peppermints and candy canes as often being coloured red and white, a rumour has persisted that there’s more to the iconic image than just flavour. Some have insinuated that the candy cane is a symbol for Jesus Christ; the red representing his blood, and the white his purity, as well as the shape being a ‘J’. It’s simply not true, however, so feel free to eat your Jesus canes at all hours of the day and with complete disregard towards religious persecution.

The Brotherhood of the Travelling Pants

Let’s get a true legend into this piece. Apparently, two brother-in-laws spent 25 years trading a pair of pants back-and-forth as a Christmas gift, each year finding a more inventive way of exchanging the slacks. The tradition began in the 1960’s and involved the pants being stuffed into a thin pipe, baled, and even added to a concrete mix. The pants were finally destroyed when they were to be encased in molten glass, but were burned to ashes, accidentally. Kind of makes me hope I never have a brother-in-law!

Won’t Someone Think of the Children

We’ve all seen those donation boxes at Wal-Mart and other outlets that say toys bought in the store can be donated to needy children… well, it seems this case went awry when the donated toys were returned to store shelves for resale. At the Sterling, Colorado location, managers wanted gifts to be wrapped in a Wal-Mart bag to prove the item had been purchased and not simply taken off the shelf and tossed in the box. Of course, staff made the mistake of putting the box in an unsupervised spot in the first place and should have just taken a loss on any possible donations through mischief.

walmart-gene-pool

Unlikely Allies

We’ve all heard the story that German and Allied troops took a break from their World War I fighting on Christmas Day in 1914 to exchanged gifts, sing carols, and even play some footie (soccer for you North American blokes). Well, all of that is, in fact, true! There’s nothing like partying with your enemy. This is why I’m always celebrating with Mrs. Sip! The 1914 truce eventually ended (as does many of my armistices with Mrs. Sip) and future attempts to come together on Christmas didn’t pan out. The war ended on Nov. 11, 1918.

Only in Canada

Sometimes I love this little country of ours. Okay, so it’s actually a massive country, but that’s not the point. If you’ve ever wondered how to reach ol’ Santy Claus, apparently us Canucks even gave the jolly fat man a postal code. It’s H0H 0H0… that’s right, it reads Ho Ho Ho! Pretty clever stuff, am I right!? Every letter sent to this address is answered, even if it comes in a foreign language or even Braille. The postal code was established in 1982 does not require postage and even return letters are free of charge!

City of Santa Hate

Philadelphia is known as the City of Brotherly Love, but clearly not so much in the sports world, where fans of the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles actually booed Santa Claus when he appeared during a game in December 1968. The Eagles had experienced a dreadful season that year, finishing with a 2-12 record and conditions at the game were horrible, with cold temperatures, slushy seats, and falling snow. The half-time Christmas Pageant ended with Santa being pelted with snowballs from much of the Philadelphia faithful. I hope they all received coal for Christmas!

Drink #341: Winter is Coming (A Sip Advisor Original Recipe)

Winter is Coming Shooter

There are, of course, so many other urban legends to do with the Christmas season. So many that I can’t possibly fit them all in. If you’re interested in more, head over to Snopes and browse away to your heart’s content!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
Based off of the catchphrase Winter is Coming from Game of Thrones, I decided to combine my alcohols that had the word “frost” in their title. The Crowberry Frost Liqueur is quite ironic because crows play a large role in the Game of Thrones story and there’s even an entire pack that dresses like the filthy bird. As for taste, it was pretty good. The Perma Frost Liqueur is strong, but not unpleasant and the Crowberry Liqueur adds a touch of sweetness to the shooter.

December 1 – Winter Mojito

Christmas Cheer

While most of the world is only capable of rocking around the Christmas tree for 12 days of holiday cheer, the Sip Advisor will be bringing you more than double that with 25 days of wonderful recipes. Today, we start things off with some facts about Christmas. I hope you’re all snuggly by a roaring fire!

Halloween By the Numbers

Drink #335: Winter Mojito

Winter Mojito Drink Recipe

  • Muddle Mint Leaves and Cranberries
  • 1.5 oz White Rum (I used Bacardi)
  • Splash of Cranberry Juice
  • Top with Lemon-Lime Soda
  • Garnish with Drunken Cranberries

This is among my favourite times of the year and I’m giddy with all the drinks and fun that is sure to come in the lead up to Christmas Day!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
I put together two different recipes for this cocktail. The one listed above and also a more basic mojito, with the simple addition of Cranberries floated on top for garnish. The version I went with for the article I feel is better because of its colour and that it’s truly a variant of the usual mojito concoction. It’s a wonderfully tasty drink and a great way to bring in the season!