How to Celebrate a Bachelors Christmas Like a Boss [LIST]
The holidays can be tough on some in a military town. Holiday duty, no leave, away from family and loved ones... but I've got you covered. This is your official bachelors guide.
Let's keep it simple and get right into the good stuff.
There's nothing more natural than seeking companionship over the holidays, but hitting the bar on Christmas Day is amateur bro.
While going to the movies is acceptable, the theater staff get really irritated when you bust out the bourbon.
Instead of seeking out the company of others, be a boss and make this day all about you.
The first thing you're going to need is a quality bottle of booze... and in terms of Guy Code, whiskey is the only acceptable category for such an occasion.
While there's nothing wrong with sipping on a $17 bottle of Evan Williams, there are better options. Being that Christmas is once a year, you should spend a few extra bucks if you can.
I'd recommend an 18 year Jameson. It's a refined Irish classic, and trust me... the Irish know their whiskeys. You should be able to find a bottle locally somewhere between $75-$85
Most will undoubtedly hit some of the restaurants around town this Christmas. Mostly families that have traveled in to spend the holiday with loved ones in our position.
TLDR: Every place will be packed with people.
As more and more people are corralled into the few open eateries, the staff are going to turnover as many tables as possible.
While that may sound like quick food and efficient service, it really translates into wrong orders and a pushy wait staff. You can't blame them though, it's what they're paid to do.
Instead, pick yourself up a prime cut of beef. Cook it at home on an actual grill. Trust me when I say, nobody cooks a steak as well as you do.
While some prefer the NY Strip or T-Bone cut, you might as well pay a few dollars more and pick out a thick-cut ribeye.
Look for deep thin marbling, especially in the filet (center) part of the steak. If you're afraid of fatty steak, it's time to man up... It's not gristle, it's flavor. It'll melt away into the meat when you cook it.
You might be thinking 'It's too cold to get my grill going' and you'd almost be right. Gas grills don't fair so well in cooler temps, that's why gas grills aren't actual grills. They're yard accessories like any other garden gnome.
Get yourself some natural charcoal, pile it up, stick some paper, and light it up.
You should prep your steak hours before you're ready to cook it. Let it sit out on the counter in this super secret manly seasoning recipe... Sea salt and cracked pepper. There are no other spices allowed on steak. Marinades are for communists. And steak sauce is strictly prohibited.
*Pro-Tip - Once a coal starts to glow that manly color of translucent orange, hit it with a hair dryer. Them coals will heat up and be ready for raw food in minutes.
Also, you're only allowed to flip that steak once. You're not allowed to squish it, that just wastes tasty juices, and your steak will end up dry. And you're not allowed to cut into it to see how 'done' it is. Steak can be eaten raw... No matter how long you cook it, it's edible until you pass the Medium-Well spectrum. If you burn it, then it's ok to dab a little A-1 on it.
Aim for a warm pink center. Let it sit and rest for at least ten minutes before you chow.
After you've put so much care and attention into that perfect cut of beef, it'd be a real shame to waste that experience sitting at the table. Instead, eat in your comfortable leather chair.
Don't have one? It's Christmas, buy yourself one. Buy what you can afford, finance it if you have to... but if you're going that far, you might as well buy quality.
If you instantly stick to it, don't buy it. It's not real leather.
If it's not as smooth as a babies butt, don't buy it. It's not quality leather.
*Pro-Tip - Wingback recliners look really classy, and they're comfortable as any other, but they tend to fall apart. There's not one manufacturer that has managed to design a lasting reclining wingback design. If you must have a wingback, pick out a standard chair.
Theater chairs are a really good choice in this area of manhood. They're usually made with top quality leather, they recline, and there's none of that rocking BS that most chair-mongers want to push on you. Expect to spend a grand.
Your TV should stay off until your plate is completely clean.
I get it, we're a civilization of distractions. We need a smartphone, tablet, HD-TV, and Facebook to get us through the day... These are the things you're gonna forgo until the afternoon is over.
But you should have to sit in silence to have a true worldly meal this Christmas. Bust out the records and pop on something classic. Whether your idea of 'classics' is Sinatra or Zeppelin, vinyl is vinyl... It'll do.
My go-to is a mixed bag pressing of 1950's mariachi music. There's no singing, six instruments, and it's undeniably awesome.
Basically, you want something to lull you through your meal. Ideally, something instrumental. Something chill. Something that will fill your ears, but still let your inner-voice speak to you while you casually enjoy yourself.
Remember, this is your day... Not some rocker from 40 years ago. It's not a time to get pumped up... it's a time to slow down.
If you don't have a record player and/or records, buy one. Hastings has quite a selection of decent phonographs, and their used vinyl racks are amazing.
Record players run between $50-$200... Splurge for the digital out so you can run it through the sound system.
Used records average a dollar or two... Pick up a couple and feel free to get outside your normal comfort zone.
If you haven't already, you should have something burning in the fireplace.
It's classy, relaxing, and there's nothing like the crackle of real wood.
I understand... Not every home has a firebox... Don't sweat it. This is the only time the TV is acceptable this afternoon. Buy a fireplace DVD/BluRay, or load up YouTube and hit play. (YouTube is on every Xbox or you can connect a laptop)
This is ultimate holiday relaxation.
Real men don't eat their holiday dessert... We burn it.
First and foremost, I'm not advocating smoking in any way, shape, or form. You don't 'smoke' a quality cigar. You merely puff on it, just enough to taste it. The complex aromas of fine worldly tobacco and precise craftsmanship.
Now, there are some ground rules on having a cigar for dessert. Before you head off to the gas station to stock up on what you assume is a cigar, stop. You won't find a real cigar at a the corner mart.
You're gonna need to head to a cigar retailer. They type of place where you can buy a single, or a box of 20... Quality isn't found in a cellophane wrapped pack of five, nor is 'quality' flavored to taste like fruit.
According to my latest issue of Cigar Aficionado, the top rated #1 cigar of 2014 is the Oliva Serie V Melanio Figurado... It's six and half inches of pure robust fury. You're going to taste it, and it's going to taste really good. Sounds expensive, but you should find one locally for around $15.
All the same, I wouldn't recommend burning one of these indoors. That smooth delicious scent eventually wafts into a stench that will take weeks to dissipate. As it's too cool outside to properly take the time a cigar deserves, I'd encourage you to look for an E-Cigar. You can puff on that all day inside, getting the taste, heat, and classy feeling of days past without the lingering stench. That vapor will disappear within a few hours leaving no lingering hint it was ever there.
*Pro-Tip - If you pick up a quality cigar to burn, don't flick the ashes off. That growing head of ashes will fall off when they're ready. Flicking it will only cause the leaf-pack you're still puffing on to loosen up and ruin your experience.
By now, the needle on your phonograph should be skipping around the center most silent track of your record... This would be a good time to pop a new one on, and crack open a book.
By 'book', I don't mean Hunger Games or your favorite fan fiction... I'm talking about something real. Something classic. A heavy and stout book. A classic hardback containing something famously written or pure non-fiction.
I tend to lean towards true, soldier-told accounts and experiences of WWII. I would recommend The Filthy Thirteen to you. It's the actual true story of what Hollywood dubbed 'The Dirty Dozen', and you'd be surprised it all started with a state local from Ponca City, Oklahoma. True story.
All the same, you can't pass up Hemmingway or H.S. Thompson.
Even if you have to force yourself, make it through the first three chapters... You won't be able to put it down... and that's a great feeling to have on any day of the week.