Over the years, poor St. Nick has been subjected to countless glasses of room-temperature milk and endless holiday plates of instantly-stale-out-of-the-oven sugar cookies dotted with those tiny silver-ball decorations (they're actually called dragées) that taste like a dirty nickel.
For all of his annual exertions, Santa Claus deserves a better variety of proffered treats. Here are our top five foods to leave Santa instead of milk and cookies:
5. Celebration lentil loaf: Vegans and vegetarians who have been good all year might get their stockings stuffed with cartons of alfalfa sprouts, bags of baby carrots and strips of mushroom jerky, so why not do Santa a solid in return and leave him a platter of the happenin' new meatless holiday entree? Celebration lentil loaf is the new Tofurky, and you can kill two radishes with one stone by making it the day before for your guests (like you were gonna do anyway) and then leaving Santa a lentil-loaf sandwich with a side of taro chips.
Celebration lentil loaf: the new Tofurkey
4. Parking-lot tamales: Who has the time to make homemade tamales during the holiday season? Santa sure as hell doesn't, and Mrs. Claus is a tad too Caucasian to be trusted to make them right, so next time you're leaving Walmart, check the parking lot for those awesome ladies with the open car trunks filled with warm Ziploc bags of tamales, fork over the cash, and leave a bag of tamales on the table for Santa. But also leave him a note instructing him not to microwave them too long -- the ends get tough.
3. Mince pies: These misunderstood little tarts are a favorite of Father Christmas, so you could make a return to traditional holiday values this year, American style. This means you have every intention of corralling your spoiled, indolent offspring into the kitchen to bake, but you don't want to miss your hour at the gym, your children have their iPods on so they can ignore you, and you finally say "Fuck it!" and buy a package of pre-made mince pies at the store and figure Santa will understand: He probably has a huge mortgage to pay on that North Pole place, and raising all those elves is a pain.
2. A "fluffer-nutter" sandwich: If Santa has spent any time in Denver, he's probably stumbled out of a few downtown bars, wound up partying in a shitty apartment in Glendale, and taken some fat bong rips of "magic mistletoe" in the back of a Dodge Caravan in LoDo. There's no better way to welcome him back into town this year than to leave him the best rocanrol food ever created: a peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwich on a paper plate. He'll be all like "Doooood....this sammich is so good, I'm finna leave this whole bag of gifts here..." And you are likely to find his fat ass snoring into your carpet on Christmas morning.
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1. Venison steak: Santa could really go for a thick, juicy cut of venison, lightly seared, dusted with fresh-ground green peppercorns and served with Yukon gold mashed potatoes and a caramelized onion-cognac reduction. He'll eat this fine meal while wondering why he hasn't seen or heard from Rudolph in a few days. It's okay, though: Just cover your butt by leaving him a note blaming Sarah Palin.