Well, once again, Steve & Eydie managed to get the Dickensian orphan who is, in point of fact, your Hostess, through another Christmas.  But many of you have been wondering: whatever happened to the traditional Holiday Lark?  Fair question.  Here’s what happened:

“Twas the night after Christmas …” yet I was just not into being the token orphan this year (it does get old).  I had not even had one single Candy Cane Martini (which could definitely explain my total lack of being able to even fake “holiday cheer”).  And a 61MB PowerPoint presentation (translation: an un-electronically-submittable 61MB PowerPoint presentation on which my future positively hinged on managing to somehow submit electronically) had pretty much rendered me anti-festive for the duration of the rest of this miserable year.

Although, I must confess, the ‘Lark did cross my mind (prolonged, PowerPoint-induced drunken stupor and all).  I went back on forth on having one this year.  I hemmed and I hawed.  I wavered this way and that.  After all, it could never be as epic and amazing as Holiday Lark, III — so I thought I ought not bother, on account of 2008 having been so entirely disappointing on all counts, and me not wanting to make things worse with a mediocre ‘Lark.

But I became convinced that it was up to me to continue the Holiday Lark, in spite of my total lack of desire to do so.  So I pulled a Rocky Balboa and decided not to let 2008 win.  The ‘Lark would prevail, if for no other reason than so that the tradition would remain unbroken.  I did this for former Holiday Lark guests who cherish the memories of this tradition (and hoped it would manage to continue).  I did this for readers of this ridiculous blog who wish they could have been at previous ‘Larks  (and hope to attend future ones).   I did this because if I didn’t, I couldn’t figure out how anyone was going to get to see the ridiculously expensive (even at 40% off!!!), insanely sexy new top I bought myself as a Christmas present unless I did it.  (There, I said it.)

Since trying to plan to top Holiday Lark, III was pure folly, I planned a very scaled-down ‘Lark.  It was a “Post-Traumatic Holiday Lark” this time, on account of it took place on Boxing Day.   One person was invited, and the location was undisclosed until the last minute.  (Seriously, it was very — if unnecessarily — cloak-&-dagger-ish.)  There was a password (which we forgot to use).  There was a bartender named Dave (which is always a good sign).  There was a most delightful Surprise Guest.  There was live music, in a genteel setting, and martinis in glasses so huge that goldfish could have swam in them (there were no actual goldfish involved — I think that was a simile).

There was a spontaneous visit to Harry Denton’s Starlight Lounge, which is the rule when you are walking past the place and you discover one of your companions has never been there.  There was a bottle of champagne.  There was a finding that the mens’ room is only slightly less glamorous than the womens’  (I blame the urinals),  replete with possibly gratuitous kissing in a handicap stall.  There was more live music.  The light fantastic was definitely tripped.  (There was also a picture snapped which I will never show you, on account of the subjects really looking soooo much better in person.)

There was a swing through Union Square, and some close-ups of the skaters we had been observing — in between mischievousness — from our vantage point at  Harry’s.  There was much discussion on the crappy condition of the ice — serious Zamboni discourse, I kid you not.  There was the departure of the Surprise Guest (leaving The Hostess in an unchaperoned condition, it must be said).

There was another impromptu stop at Le Colonial, where a most unlikely Cucumber Gimlet — consisting of gin! — was drunk.  It is impossible to explain how this actually happened.  But this phase of the evening was strangely reminiscent of Holiday Lark, II — which was also a very intimate event — during which some otherwise improbable events did occur (although public displays of affection on rattan furniture did not take place in 2006, I’m quite sure).

There was gallant chivalrous escorting to the J-car and ushering to a lovely Menorah  lighting ceremony,  complete with the prayer (and a translation, for The Hostess’ benefit).  There was then even more champagne (despite the fact that it this was widely acknowledged to be excessive, but no one seemed to actually care) drunk from glass containers that resembled Pyrex measuring cups, sans the red markings.  There was a sleight-of-hand trick involving a very tricky piece of brown silk.  There was no more live music, but there was mirth, merriment, and the revelation that Hanukkah candles do not drip.  The Surprise Guest reappeared, and there was even more glee.

There was a general agreement that the entire evening had been as delightful as any all year.  There was Xanax (in our defense, calls to hot tub ownwers went unanswered, and we had to do something to calm down).  And then…there was breakfast.

To sum it all up, let me just say this: the Holiday Lark tradition is going strong, and may actually be getting better — against all odds — every single year.  A special thank-you to my enchantingly charming companions this year — you made Holiday Lark, IV the special evening that it was.  You were just the dynamic duo to rise to the occasion of keeping the ‘Lark alive.  (Let the readers of this ridiculous blog decide for themselves whether that was a pun, or not.)  And, I especially thank you for buying all the drinks!