Today’s eve-of-Christmas-Eve game against the Chargers is an important one for the Jets, who know it’s now or never. Whether they play naughty or nice, it’s a lock that Santa will be visiting the parking lots at MetLife Stadium this Sunday. Rumor has it he’s trading in his red suit for a green one. Here are a few tips on how to welcome Santa and some great Christmas celebrating ideas for your holiday tailgating party.
Christmas Pimp Your Ride – Deck the outdoor halls of your tailgate with wreaths, Christmas lights and holiday decorations. Kids and adults alike will have fun setting up and decorating a small, artificial Christmas tree and festooning it with Jets-themed decorations, green lights and a helmet tree topper. Make sure to keep your tree and all other decorations far away from the grill and outdoor heaters. Hang up Jets Snowman Christmas stockings and stuff them with items that will come in handy on game day, like hand warmers, cigars or cozy, keep-you-warm Jets caps and scarves. No time to shop for Jets Christmas stockings? Grab some green socks from the back of your drawer and decorate them with a glue gun and glitter.
The Christmas Goose – Okay, so you don’t actually have to bring a stuffed goose to your tailgate, but think about serving up foods that say Christmas to you. Pineapple-baked ham, sliced turkey with hot gravy, crowd-pleasing sausage balls with a variety of hot dips and a cheese log and crackers are a great place to start. Of course, Christmas cookies are an absolute must and there is no end to the recipes you can experiment with. Buy or bake up a variety of gingerbread men, sugar cookies and brownies, decorated with green sugar or sprinkles. Don’t forget that this is a tailgate party, however. Throw some great bacon & beer cookies into the mix and be sure to leave some on a Jets-themed plate for Santa, complete with milk chaser.
The Christmas Cheer – Yes, there will be beer. Think about grabbing some interesting, holiday-themed brews, like Samuel Adams White Christmas, an unfiltered white ale infused with holiday spices or slightly-sweet, ruby-red Troegs Mad Elf Ale. There’s nothing like serving up eggnog punch for the holidays, too, especially post- game. Bring the ingredients you’ll need with you and mix up a big batch, then serve in a bowl decorated with green-striped candy canes. If kids will be at your tailgate, mix up one batch of eggnog punch with alcohol and one without, clearly designating which is which.
It’s Beginning to Sound A Lot Like Christmas – Nothing sets the stage for a great holiday party like music. Throw some of your favorite Christmas tunes into the tailgate mix (think Springsteen’s Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town). The festival of lights may be over, but a must-include in your playlist is uber-Jets fan Adam Sandler’s hilarious Chanukah Song, latkas optional.
Join in Some Reindeer Games – You have to work off those Christmas cookies somehow. Move your body around and throw some footballs or frisbees, start a beer pong tournament or join the holiday tailgaters next door for a friendly game of bean bag toss.
Jets Annual Coat Drive – The Jets are partnering up with A-1 First Class Moving and Storage to hold their annual Coat Drive this Sunday, in benefit of non-profit organization, New Jersey Cares. Make Santa proud and bring your new and gently-used coats to the stadium to donate for those less fortunate. Collections will take place at gates throughout the stadium.
Merry Christmas Gang Green! Check out Tailgate Fan to keep the party going at tailgatefan.cbslocal.com.
Corey Whelan is a freelance writer in New York. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.