Tell me if this sounds like cruel and unusual punishment to you: a half-hour of TV a night. As in, that’s all that I was allowed to watch while I was growing up. Until the age of about 13, I knew many 80s television shows, but I couldn’t tell ya how any of them ended. Prime time started at 8:00 and I was in broadcast bliss. Until 8:30, the time at which scientists had determined that a child’s brain began to rot unless they were in bed. Despite how it sounds, my parents weren’t uptight or stodgy. But my Dad in particular had a low regard for TV.

One of the very few exceptions was the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Christmas Special. Whether it was the fact that he knew it was only on once a year (yes, that was the case back then), or because he recognized it as a piece of quality entertainment, Dad lifted the 30 minute limitation for one night and I was allowed to find out what happened in the second half of a one-hour show! I remember thinking how long 60 minutes felt and as Rudolph’s adventure started, it seemed as if the evening would last forever. There was no end in sight! “Silver and gold, silver and gold…”
It’s still one of the best Christmas specials ever – the best if it weren’t for that pesky Peanuts gang. And while Charlie Brown may have the brilliance of the Vince Guaraldi Trio, Rudolph gifted us with foot-tapping earworms like this…

So as I sit down to one of my favorite Christmas traditions, I’ll be drinking another one, vegan style. This is my first dairy-free December (last year was just meatless), so I picked up a carton of Nog Coconut Milk by So Delicious. Aside from not being as thick – and therefore, a little easier to drink, actually – it’s just as tasty as traditional eggnog. There were plenty of other brands to choose from – dairy free eggnog isn’t hard to find these days, thanks to all the lactose intolerance. ‘Guess I was roped in by SD’s festive “Limited Edition” packaging. (Rather, it’s the holiday flavors themselves that are limited.) Of course, there’s one way to rock yer nog that all holiday revelers can agree on. Ahoy, Rudolph – you won’t be the only one with a red nose and sporting fake, felt antlers at this year’s Christmas party!