I don't remember the first one, but for a few years it was just my brother Ace and I. The formula was simple then, and hasn't changed much, try to shop as little as possible, and then have a good time at a few bars to relieve the stress of Holiday shopping. The exact correct ratio of the first to the second is 1:7, and the shopping can't take more than an hour. We started just going to a few local stores (The Red Wearhouse in Flint was my favorite), and then on to a few watering holes. Nothing prevented our night out,
|Sage advice to a young male|
In the early years, we'd bring our food with us to try and save some time. I'd do up some appetizers and some fried foods, and I had a plug in warmer that I used for my job as a food salesperson which we would bring with us. The crowd, after the first few years, ran from 5-12 attendees depending on how many
|Typical night at Eddie O's Canandaigua|
The most common place for us to dance is the Brew Pub, although we have done others depending on the band or DJ. I like the Brew Pub, because we don't go there on a regular basis, so few people know us.
|What it looked like when I danced with Xena|
The rest of the night becomes a pattern after this, drinking, talking, dancing, rinse, repeat. At some point someone is bound to suggest we do a shot (usually it's me), so we do. We finish when the bars close, and then head for home with our designated driver safely at the wheel (we'd do breakfast, but do you know how long it takes to digest 20 wings?). We wake late the next morning, most of us with hangovers, and start thinking about how we are going to improve the gathering next year. It's amazing how often we do have progressively better times in spite of our advancing ages. Trust me, it's a much needed stress reducer for us as the year draws to a close. As this blog draws to a close, I invite you to start your own such tradition. It's safe, it's fun, there is great camaraderie, and you'll have something to look forward to each year. I know I do, and you might too, after all, the limo is still waiting.