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.

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October 2 – Raspberry Dew Drop

Seasonal Mythology

Greek mythology is pretty crazy. Somehow, some way, the myths can explain why everything exists today… including each of the four seasons. Here is the mythological explanation for all seasons:

Winter

The story goes like this: Hades, that underworld bad ass (he even has his own beer), kidnaps Persephone to be his wife (if only it were that easy!). Zeus, that omnipotent ruler, decrees that Persephone should be returned to her mother Demeter (also the goddess of earth). Hades tricks Persephone into eating the food of the dead, which I guess is a mix of bleu cheese and expired fruit, and that means she has to stay in the underworld. In one of the earliest examples of a child custody agreement, Zeus gives both Hades and Demeter half the year to have Persephone. Demeter gets all hormonal and moody when Persephone is with Hades and creates winter. So, if you’re not a fan of sweaters, indoor heating, and ice scrapers, you have Hades to blame for your own misery.

die-winter

Spring

Sticking with the whole Hades-Persephone-Demeter soap opera storyline, when Persephone returns to her mother Demeter, Demeter gets off her lazy ass and starts feeding mankind again, tending to the various harvests that must be maintained. I guess she had a serious case of empty nest syndrome. Moving on, the world become luscious again and people fatten themselves up, not knowing that summer is around the corner and they better start pulling out their Ab Rollers, Bowflexes, and ThighMasters, again. Next time Mrs. Sip complains of eating too much, I’ll just reference the gods and be done with it.

Summer

The happy times for Persephone and Demeter continue through the wonderful summer, where everyone on earth is happy and frolicking naked (by the way, all you little sippers should see the Sip Advisor frolic… it is a sight to behold… perhaps without the naked part) amongst the tall grass, hot temperatures and warm breezes. Hades is lurking in the shadows, however, and Persephone will soon be his again. For the time being everyone enjoys the bliss of sweet summer and forgets their troubles.

summer-is-ok

Fall

Persephone must be returned to the underworld and Hades (her father figure-wannabe husband-captor) couldn’t be happier with his prize. Demeter suffers from separation anxiety and doesn’t want to be alone in her misery, so she makes everyone else have to battle bouts of seasonal affective disorder (SAD… not to be confused with SADS – Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome). Just as people think things couldn’t get any worse, they are reminded of Demeter’s behaviour the previous year and folks begin to dread the newly dubbed ‘winter’ that is approaching. As they say on Game of Thrones and I like to bug Mrs. Sip by repeating at inappropriate times: “Winter is coming!

Drink #275: Raspberry Dew Drop

Raspberry Dew Drop Drink Recipe

  • 1.5 oz Raspberry Vodka (I used Absolut)
  • Top with Cranberry Juice
  • Splash of Sweet & Sour Mix
  • Garnish with Raspberries and Lemon Slices

Well, I hope you liked that eschewed view of seasonal changes… thanks for nothing Demeter!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I felt this drink nicely captured the changing of the seasons, although it works best when winter turns into spring. It certainly tasted fantastic and the look came together really well with all the garnishes!