And our Christmas decorating saga has begun

Let the Christmas decorating begin.
Let the Christmas decorating begin.

Each year it seems that it takes more and more last minute trips back to our storage unit or out to the hardware store (extension cords) and the drugstore (hooks, wires, and things) for us to actually begin the ritual of making our place fit for the holidays.

And our conversation seems to go, more and more, something like this:

“Where are the hooks?”
“Do you remember this string being burned out?”
“What happened to our German pickle ornaments?”
“Did we bring home the box of crystal snowflakes when we took back the Thanksgiving stuff?”
“Why do we have strings of purple lights?”
“Do you think that Oliver and Margaret are frightened of the tree?”
“Say, why do these peppermint votive candles smell like old socks?”

Jacob and I will probably begin talking to each other in a conversational tone—answering each other’s questions—sometime mid-January, 2015.

Meantime, I take great solace in the fact that we have a large pantry off of our entry hall—and we have a liquor closet. The closet houses cases of wine plus a bottle or two of most any spirit that we might need or that any guest might request. (No one has ever requested that we pour them a shot from our display-sized bottle of Galliano, though. We purchased it back in 2006, as I best as I can remember.)

While Jacob is busy running inventory on what we have and what we may need for a civilized Christmas, Southern Comfort comes to my mind. It comes to mind because Southern Comfort helps us make—what we think—is the very best eggnog on earth. (I say that even as I’m an eight-year, card-carrying Maker’s Mark ambassador.)

As we work to get our decorating for this holiday season underway and fine-tuned, I’ll share our recipe for one of our go-to Christmas cocktails:

BrockelNog (the simple version)

A  blender is needed and a measuring cup
Lucerne (or similar) eggnog in carton
Southern Comfort
Crème de cacao, clear
Whipping cream

Purchase quarts (or gallons) of your favorite prepared eggnog (Lucerne is about the correct thickness and the taste is consistent year-after-year, as are some other store brands that come in cartons including Trader Joe’s. I always avoid Borden’s in any type of container; it seems to have an off-taste. Any brand that features “vanilla-added” seems too cloying.) Keep the eggnog in the coldest part of your refrigerator. And, at least four hours prior to making eggnog,  put a bottle of Southern Comfort in your freezer.

For each
4 cups of eggnog, add
6 oz whipping cream
8 oz Southern Comfort
2 oz Crème de cacao

Blend on high for 30-seconds or until mixture becomes frothy. Pour into chilled glasses and grate or shake nutmeg over the top.

Drink, share, then share some more.

Happy holidays, everyone. I have to run now. Jacob just said, “Why is the turkey stock you’re making boiling over?”

By Stephen Brockelman

As a Sr. Writer at T. Rowe Price, I work with a group of the best copywriters around. We belong to the broader creative team within Enterprise Creative, a part of Corporate Marketing Services. _____________________________________________ A long and winding road: My path to T. Rowe Price was more twisted than Fidelity’s green line. With scholarship in hand, I left Kansas at 18 to study theatre in New York. When my soap opera paychecks stopped coming from CBS and started coming from the show’s sponsor, Proctor & Gamble, I discovered the power of advertising and switched careers. Over the years I’ve owned an ad agency in San Francisco; worked for Norman Lear on All in the Family, Good Times, Sanford and Son, and the rest of his hit shows; and as a member of Directors Guild of America, I directed Desi Arnaz in his last television appearance— we remained friends until his death. In 1988 I began freelancing full time didn’t look back. In January 2012 my rep at Boss Group called and said, “I know you don’t want to commute and writing for the financial industry isn’t high on your wish list, but I have a gig with T. Rowe Price in Owings Mills…” I was a contractor for eight months, drank the corporate Kool-Aid, became a TRP associate that August, and today I find myself smiling more often than not.

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