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The Holiday Season is Almost Here. Five Things You’ll Want to Stock Up On

As fun and restorative as the holiday season can be, it leaves most of us in a holding pattern.  We may achieve much at work or at home during this time, but it is not a time to make big changes.  Very few people move to a new house or start a new job between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, so it is important to stock up on things that are useful while sneaking in a few other things that are just for fun.

1.   Wine

Enjoy it hot or cold, though not all wines are meant to be heated.  Pick it up at the store or, if the weather is inclement enough, order wine delivery.  You can drink wine or include it in beef stew, though it may be prudent not to use a 40-dollar bottle of wine to make beef stew.  Maybe add some cooking wine to the physical or digital cart.

While we are on the subject of alcohol, it may also be useful to stock up on the hardest stuff like brown liquor and vodka, as both are hardly perishable.  In fact, hard liquors have indefinite shelf lives.  If anything, they simply become more alcoholic than before, but if you do not trust yourself with anything stronger than wine, it is better to remain safe than to keep hard liquor in the house.

2.   Nuts

To prepare for the holidays is to prepare for lots of time in the great indoors.  Without a steady source of Vitamin D, a superfood may be one of your best friends.  Nuts are particularly accessible superfoods because they present a few key benefits that separate them from kale by a wide margin:  You do not have to cook nuts.  Pour them into your hand.  They are portable, and you can bring them to work or make little trail mix bags for the kids (or yourself).  Also, they taste good, especially if you purchase dry-rubbed nuts with different flavors. Meanwhile, kale requires a lot of effort to taste good. 

As long as you eat only a few of them, nuts are some of the healthiest foods humans can eat, and they are filling, so you need not worry about feeling deprived if you eat them.  Nuts can also make you feel energized as much as heavier foods make you feel bloated.  Some like a variety of nuts; some like to pick a favorite without looking back.  If you are a foodie who values spice and flavor, then you might like pistachios and almonds, as those present many flavored options.  If you have a sweet tooth, then enjoy macadamias or cashews, though macadamias are pretty much objectively better.  There is no such thing as cashew pie, after all.

3.   Batteries

What good is that catnip-filled vibrating rat, spin-and-say, or remote-control car without batteries?  The holiday season means toys for small children, and toys for small children means batteries.  AA will probably be the most common, but have AAA batteries on-hand just in case.  A single sleeve of, say, 24 batteries can easily last for over a year.  A sleeve this big is about 40 dollars, but it does last for a long time.  Batteries are also good for power outages.  Outages are as common in the blizzards of winter as they are in the hurricanes of summer, so batteries could also be an investment in safety.  Make sure your flashlights have enough juice.

4.   Coffee

In the interest of entertaining guests, you may want to purchase more coffee than usual.  Whether you enjoy fussy espressos or genuine cups of coffee, grab another sleeve of cups so that you can offer coffee to guests at your holiday party.  You can also use coffee as an ingredient in fussier drinks.  A fussy drink can be fun every once in a while.  Maybe combine coffee with alcohol to make Irish coffee.  Whiskey and coffee might sound like a joke about Irish people, but it is actually a complex delicacy that offers sweetness, bitterness, and a touch of umami.  Coffee is not only for mornings; it can brighten any holiday celebration.

5.   Medication

This is not to address seasonal affective disorder or abusing over-the-counter painkillers.  Rather, it is to suggest that NyQuil could come in handy if you become sick.  The holiday season is also the flu season, so you might as well stock up on the most potent cold remedies around.  Nothing beats a cold like NyQuil and a cup of tea.  Just make sure your teenager does not try anything funny with it or combine it with illicit substances.  Purple Drank is real, and it can destroy your liver.  Many are fearful of painkillers, but there is no doubt that unclogging sinuses always pays off.

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