When I was younger, I begged my parents for a Christmas tree. Although we occasionally had pork chops for dinner and abandoned any notion of joining a synagogue after moving out to California, we certainly did not ever entertain the idea of celebrating Christmas. Which is sad because I love Christmas. I love walking down the aisles at the grocery store and smelling all of the cinnamon and nutmeg, the two-for-one cartons of peppermint ice-cream, and taking sweet advantage of bargain-priced cans of green beans. Most of all, I am in love with being in love with Christmas. If you don’t know already, Jewish holidays tend to have pretty depressing background stories, and the whole point of them is to reflect solemnly and quietly grieve. Where is the fun in that? I want to wear those silly paper crowns! I want to watch It’s a Wonderful Life over and over again until I can recite the lines by heart and pretend to lasso the moon for you! I want to help you put the shining star on top of the Christmas tree! I want it all!
Unfortunately, I usually wind up eating an entire pint of ice-cream and television series by the end of Christmas day. This doesn’t have to be the case. There are ways to spend Christmas eve and day productively, even if you do it solo.
1. Go to your local Matzo Ball
If you’re single and ready to mingle, hit up your city’s Mazto Ball. This is an actual gala similar to a night club or the Electric Daisy Carnival, but more…Jewish. You can dance to “Dreidel Dreidel” re-mixed by Deadmau5 and do the sexy version of Hava Nagila (yes, there is a sexy version of Hava Nagila) with some cute Jewish boys. I’m serious, it’s a real thing: http://www.matzoball.org/
2.Go to your favorite Chinese restaurant.
An authentic Chinese restaurant will always be open on Christmas. In fact, they will greet you with open arms and a pot of that therapeutic and complimentary green tea. Enjoy your steaming plate of Moo Goo Gai Pan and be thankful you don’t have to clean up all that gift wrap.
3.Write a screenplay about your family’s shenanigans and send it to NBC
There are never enough family comedies on television, especially Jewish family comedies. Episode one might be titled, “Get Married Before Grandma Ethel Dies and Haunts You Forever!” “Jewish Guilt Has Always Stopped Me From One Night Stands,” or “The Day Mom Didn’t Buy Pantyhose On Sale”.
4. Enjoy a few gin and tonics (if you’re of age); they kind of taste like Christmas trees.
Whenever I make myself a gin and tonic, I usually pour just enough gin so that I could taste the essence of pine and not throw up. But there are actually formulaic and innovative ways to make a gin and tonic, such as this fine recipe:
2 slices of cucumber
3 mint sprigs
3 ounces gin
4 ounces tonic water
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
- Put 1 slice of cucumber and 2 sprigs of mint into a highball glass.
- Fill the glass with ice
- Add the gin, tonic, and lime juice
- Stir and garnish with a cucumber wheel.
Now, go get your inner-mixologist on!
5. Sell unwanted Christmas gifts on Ebay
Did your Christian friend get you a fruit cake again? A new Snoopy ornament for your non-existent Christmas tree? Light-up Rudolph underwear? Sell it all! Let Ebay be the new home for all undesirable Christmas gifts.
So, there you have it. Don’t let Christmas get you down or keep you lonely; there are only so many episodes of Breaking Bad you can watch on Netflix (although, if you haven’t watched all of them, this is the perfect time for you). Seize the glazed-ham day and make that mistletoe your bitch!