“How to Start Your Candy-Cane Collection in 23 Easy Steps”

1) Be 17.

2) Get arrested.

3) Live in suburbia but not John Cheever’s suburbia. Kevin Smith’s suburbia.

4) Sit in the back of a cop car and reflect on the course of events that led to you to this point.

5) Note that you are wedged between two people from your graduating high-school class. It’s December and 15 of your peers are being busted for underage drinking. There’s frost on the ground and a chill in the air, so it’s not half bad being in a heated car — as opposed to clutching a plastic cup of cold beer in a parking lot.

Hairpin pal Sloane Crosley’s handy guide to candy-gathering is one of many in Vanity Fair’s excellent Naked Santa Spectacular essay roundup. Enjoy!