Paul Constant

Sun Dec 11


Capitol Hill

With the massive hangover we're incubating (from spending the previous night with hundreds of drunken Santarchy Santas), Party Crasher isn't feeling very Yuleophilic. Nevertheless, this evening we're in the lobby of a prominent apartment building to celebrate the Twelfth Annual El Capitan Holiday Tree Trimming Party.

The admission fee is one ornament to decorate the 12-foot tree that's currently tying the room together, and the tree trimming evokes a mammoth adaptation of the climax from A Charlie Brown Christmas. Partiers munch on sheet cake, along with delicious cream puffs, and, curiously, jalapeño poppers. The ornaments are diverse—there is a handmade paper cowboy, an Indian God of Strength entwined with his Perfect Lover, and a record—Meat Loaf's sucktastic magnum opus, Bat Out of Hell, lashed to the tree with shoestrings.

"Mmm, you smell like the Magic of Christmas," one partygoer says in greeting another, as the songbooks for carols are distributed. A violinist accompanies the diverse choir, and one young man sings with Freddie Mercury–style drama. "That was the best 'The Twelve Days of Christmas' we've ever done," a longtime renter comments, awestruck. "We ought to send a tape of that to Benaroya Hall," the building's owner chimes in, before breaking into a jig and singing "Danny Boy." Neighbors are meeting each other and joking like old friends, the party will eventually break off into several mini-parties in the individual apartments, and it's all just mellow and, well, cozy... Why are you looking at us like that? It's Christmas. We'll get back to the drunks next week.

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