It was Christmas of 1987 and I had turned 21 the previous June. We were spending the holiday in Fulton, MO with my grandparents, Aunt Susie, Uncle Riley and cousin John. John is four years older than I and I always thought of him as my very cool, very nice looking cousin. He had supposedly graduated that December from MU (we later learned he hadn’t, but had told his mother he had) and my mom’s graduation gift to him was a case of Corona beer.
Around noon on Christmas Day, John took two bottles of beer out of the case and handed one to me. “Here Cuz,” he said, “Merry Christmas.” I was in heaven. First of all, it was Christmas, but more importantly, my very cool cousin was sharing a beer with me, his dorky younger cousin. We clinked bottles and what eventually became known as The Corona Christmas had officially begun.
Throughout the course of the day, John and I continued to enjoy our beer. We had one at dinner, with dessert, while watching movies, and so on. By midnight, only two beers remained but we were done. Now, before you go judging my family and wondering what kind of parent lets their kid drink all day, I’d like to point out that 1) I was in college and really knew how to handle my liquor, and 2) we consumed those beers over a 12 hour period with plenty of food. Neither one of us really got drunk.
We spent the night at Susie and Riley’s sleeping on the floor of the living room near the fire. Bright and early next morning, I was greeted by my cousin holding the last two Coronas. I don’t think I drank that one.