Today behind the door of our Advent calendar we find a short story by Damon Runyon -- "Dancing Dan's Christmas." It is included in Guys and Dolls: The Short Stories of Damon Runyon -- which is, tragically, out of print. A link to the text of the story can be found here. Anyone who has loved Runyon's tales of Sky Masterson and Miss Sarah Brown, Nathan Detroit and Nicely-Nicely Jones, will get a kick out of this gasser of a story.
We meet Dancing Dan and his pals as they toast the season on Christmas Eve with quite a few "hot Tom and Jerrys" -- which sounds like a mistake, since a Tom and Jerry is a festive kind of egg-noggy concoction that has both rum and brandy, along with various spices. I found a recipe here for the brave among you (I would include The Mother but I suspect she already knows how to make a mean Tom and Jerry).
Capers and shenanigans ensue, as they always do in a Runyon story, and the surprise ending is quite happy-making. This would be a great read-aloud story, especially if you have someone in your family who can put on a fun Sopranos-esque gangter/hoodlum accent.
NOTE: I don't know that small children will find this story as hilarious as teenagers and adults will. But hey -- if you have a five-year-old who aspires to be a professional gambler, read this to her so she can be inspired.