Santa's Little Helper

A little chemical help for the holidays helps a lot.

These last whimpering days before Christmas are exhausting, aren't they? Being a good American is tough when the credit cards are maxed, and "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" stopped being funny about six seconds after its original moment of airplay. By the time Baby Jesus' birthday arrives, all you want to do is huddle in bed with the blankets pulled up over your head. Still, most of us bravely soldier on, wishing only for an instant escape from errands, bell ringers, and blinking earrings. Santa may not have one for you, but the Pusher Man dependably delivers a number of illegal experiences that will have you not even noticing when that tramp of a mommy starts mackin' on Mr. Claus for the 30th year in a row.

For newcomers to the world of self- medication, may we suggest that stinky old standby, pot. If you can't smoke without wheezing, it's easy to whip up a special batch of adults-only Christmas cookies amidst the rest of the holiday baking. Brandied eggnog and pot-filled gingerbread is the true breakfast of champions; follow the recipe on a boxed gingerbread mix, making a simple substitution of herb-infused melted butter where the directions recommend oil. Dude. You'll be calling in to work "relaxed" instead of "sick," and happily spending the day chowing through the edible stocking stuffers and grooving to the weird deep-cable shows you usually miss.

But I have things to do, you cry! Cookies to bake! Presents to wrap! I don't have time to zone out with VH1! Frantic citizens, think back to last time the GOP was in the White House for your answer: cocaine. Snuff up a few lines first thing in the morning (humming "White Christmas" for irony), and you'll have your list completed by 10 a.m. This will leave you plenty of time and energy to focus on the important things, like vacuuming the neighbor's garage and alphabetizing your plants by their botanical names. And with nothing else all day but a wee glass of champagne at dinner, think of how slim and lovely you'll be by New Year's. Won't those grubby little potheads be jealous?

Some of you may have scruples about pesky things like legality and Class C felonies; you look tense! You'll feel more comfortable frolicking about in the world of prescription medications. Valium, the drug of choice for millions, may seem old-fashioned in this day of serotonin boosters, but unlike Wellbutrin or Effexor, it kicks right in with none of this three-weeks-to-take-effect nonsense. Life is difficult, and we need to be happy RIGHT NOW! Even for those who protest that they are, in fact, happy right now, that doesn't mean pills can't help. Catch a chill in your slinky new cocktail dress? Have a dozen too many at the office party? A spoonful of codeine cough syrup will smooth away your rough edges and leave you at your witty best. Vicodin, popular though it may be, is more likely to smooth away your smooth edges right along with the rough, and nodding off in Mom's Yorkshire pudding is never attractive. While some docs are extremely hesitant to prescribe these mood boosters, concocting a story that involves neck spasms, a toothache, or overwhelming stress shouldn't be too difficult for the truly motivated. These meds—no really, these are medications— do have a downside: They don't mix well with large quantities of champagne or mulled wine, unless you happen to have a coma on your wish list.

Whatever your drug of choice may finally be, feel comforted in knowing that there's plenty of time to add "kicking a habit" or "joining Narcotics Anonymous" to your list of New Year's resolutions. In the meantime, think of drugs as just another way of boosting the economy, and go buy yourself a merry little Christmas. Who cares if you won't remember any of it?

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