Normally I hate the too-early anticipation of the Christmas season. When I walked past a Starbucks this week and saw that the outdoor sign was advertising all of the sugary Christmas concoctions, I groaned. When I walked past St. Mary Church and saw that they were setting up the Christmas tree holders for their annual Christmas tree sale, I groaned again. And when I saw that the Hausfrau Haven was selling egg nog, I groaned still more — and also felt a little sick to my stomach at the thought of the coating, cloying taste of egg nog, because I really don’t like egg nog.
In my book, Christmas shouldn’t be anticipated until Thanksgiving is over, period. I know that some people can’t resist jumping the gun, and have already started listening to Christmas music. wearing red sweaters with reindeer on them and watching the saccharine Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel, but I’m not one of them.
I do make one exception to my no Christmas before Thanksgiving rule, however. If I see that Great Lakes Christmas Ale is for sale, I’ll always pick up a six pack, whether Thanksgiving has passed or not. The Great Lakes Brewing Company can be depended on to brew a high-quality, spicy, holiday ale that Old Fezziwig would have loved. I picked up some of this year’s batch yesterday, and it’s excellent — packed with flavor and a little holiday dash, besides. After savoring a bottle, I felt more in the Christmas mood already. Hey — when is the first showing of It’s A Wonderful Life, anyway?
If you like a seasonal brew, I highly recommend this year’s edition of Great Lakes Christmas Ale. But be forewarned: consistent with the generous spirit of the holidays, it comes in at 7.5% alcohol by volume. Pace yourself, or you might not be able to finish trimming the tree.