Well, here it is again: Christmas. Lights are a-twinkling in every store window, Salvation Army volunteers are ringing bells everywhere, and green and red drape every available space in the country. As Jews who weren’t raised with a tree in our living room, there’s more than a bit of FOMO this time of year. We don’t necessarily want to celebrate Christmas…but everyone just looks so cheery this time of year. Jolly music bursts from every stereo (“We wrote most of those songs,” we Jews comfort ourselves) and merry men grant wishes to eager, believing children. It’s a Wonderful Life, Love Actually, Die Hard…all the good movies take place during Christmas. It makes even the least secularized Jew want to go out and do something exciting on December 25th, maybe spend some of that Chanukah money we just got.
So here it is. Ideas of how to spend your Jewish Christmas break, as brought to you by the (slightly FOMO) Jews of New Voices:
- The Matzo Ball. Everyone knows about it, but have you actually been? A singles event in all the larger cities in America, Jews comfort themselves on Christmas Eve in the best way Jews know how: by getting drunk, and meeting a nice Jewish boy or girl. The ball claims to be responsible for over 1,000 marriages since 1987, and last year over 3,000 people came out to the events in New York alone.
- A Kosher Christmas. This might only take place in New York City, but then again, that’s where everything exciting happens, so just suck it up and move here already, people. A comedy show at one of the best comedy clubs in the city, this event features all Jewish comedians, and promises to be “funnier than Chinese food and a movie!” Which brings us to…
- Les Miserables. Yes, a movie isn’t the most original idea for how to spend your Jewish Christmas, but after all, it is tradition. (And you know what Tevya says about that.) Plus, this is one of the most highly anticipated films of the year, and it comes out on Christmas Day. Thanks for that, Jewish Hollywood!
- National Museum of American Jewish History. Leave it to the Jewish history museum to make an event on Christmas. This Philadelphia museum (apparently things do happen outside of New York) hosts events and galleries all day long, from clay workshops to storytime.
- SantaCon. Sound Christian? WRONG. SantaCon is non-denominational. Sure, the idea is to dress up in Santa costumes and go out on the town (read: get drunk) but really it’s actually quite Jewish: many proceeds go to tzedaka! Note: the official date for SantaCon was December 15, but it’s different in each city, and plus, going out drinking in a Santa costume is never out of style. Just make sure you don’t call it a bar crawl. Every time you do, “a sugarplum fairy dies.”
If none of these ideas appeal to you, just give in to your temptations and go see the Rockettes. Or the Nutcracker. Or A Christmas Story or Elf or Angelina Ballerina or the tree at Rockefeller Center or the beautiful windows on Fifth Avenue. You know you want to.