Just because the holiday season is as far away from summertime as possible, that doesn’t mean you can’t go all out and bring some Camp Half-Blood-inspired merriment to your next big shindig.
We’ve heard that the gods are planning to conduct their annual winter solstice meeting this week. They claim their reunion is all very serious end of the world type business, but we swear we saw Hephaestus sneak in some homemade eggnog last year.
So why let the Pantheon have all the fun? Party like a true Half-Blood camper this year with these surefire tips on how to infuse the holiday season with some summer spice, no matter how you choose to observe this time of the year.
Don’t Limit Yourself to Staying Indoors
Depending on where you live, you may struggle to convince your loved ones to venture into cold, dark woods for a get-together. But hey, isn’t that why they invented ugly holiday sweaters in the first place?
Think of it this way: the threat of frostbite has never stopped the campers at Half-Blood from having a good time. Just ask one of your friends to bring their fire-breathing bronze dragon in case anyone complains. We hear those sweaters burn up real nice on the campfire.
Go All Out with the Decorations
Chilliness: defeated. But what about the darkness? Simple. Invite your entire guest list to bring as many outdoor lights and shiny ornaments as possible.
But be sure to leave no tree undressed. One of them could be the temporary resting place of your long-lost half-sibling—you never know. And we don’t want them to feel neglected if they happen to wake up during the festivities.
(By the way, are any of those ugly sweaters on the campfire made of golden fleece? Because if so, we’re in big trouble.)
Bust Out the Tunes
Let’s be honest. By this point, we’re all sick of the same old holiday songs. But have you ever heard Apollo’s rendition of “Jingle Bells” or “Frosty the Snowman”? It’s not too late to brush up on it. We still remember how he brought all the campers to tears last year when he sang an absolutely soul-wrenching version of “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.”
Stick with the Culinary Classics
No holiday party is complete without plenty of sweet treats. And the campers at Half-Blood always put their own unique spin on our old favorites. Powdered sugar cookies topped with strawberries. Gingerbread houses lined with strawberries. Hot cocoa flavored with . . . strawberry juice? Wait, are strawberries even in season this time of year?
Chiron assures us that these treats have absolutely nothing to do with the camp’s seasonal dip in strawberry sales. “I wouldn’t call it a strawberry surplus,” he told us. “But serving all of this tasty strawberry cocoa sure is a plus for our beloved campers.”
No offense to him, but I think we’d rather have what Mr. D is drinking.
Include Everyone in the Festivities
Half-Blood campers may bicker, battle, and engage in some seriously intense snowball fights, but they never let anyone feel excluded from a party based on their traditions or personal beliefs. Even those who don’t recognize the holiday season at all can bask in the warmth of friends and loved ones.
But if you do get invited to a party at Camp Half-Blood this year, it may not hurt to at least pretend that you worship the Pantheon, if only to raise the gods’ spirits. Even if they won’t admit it, the Olympians tend to get sensitive about being forgotten at this time of year.
Besides, this is the only time of year Hades leaves the underworld. Why not leave some cookies and milk out for him, too? We’re sure the gesture would not go unnoticed. And who knows? You might need a favor someday . . .
From all of us at Read Riordan, we hope you have a wonderful and joyous end to 2022!