Jews just want to have fun

And perhaps find love by turning Christmas Eve into the jolliest night of the year
By JACQUELINE HOUTON  |  December 8, 2009

081221_jews_main

What to do if you don’t do Christmas
You say you can afford a hangover on Christmas Day? Well, all right, but don’t drink alone. Feel free to dance December 24 away at one of these local events.
THE MATZO BALL 9 pm to 2 am at the Estate Boston, One Boylston Place, Boston. Tix $30 at matzoball.org or call 888.633.5326.
THE BALL 8 pm to 2 am at Felt, 533 Washington Street, Boston. Tix $10 in advance, $20 at the door. Visit boston.letmypeoplego.com.
JBALL 2008: ROCK STAR PARTY (for ages 21 through 29) 8:30 pm to 1 am at Revolution Rock Bar, 200 High Street, Boston. Tix $20 in advance, $25 at the door (if available).
JBALL, DINNER, DANCE, & SOCIAL PARTY (ages 40+) 8 pm to 1 am in the Grand Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency. One Avenue de Lafayette, Boston. Tix $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Visit tjcboston.com or call 781.444.7771.
QUICK DATES, the annual speed-dating night sponsored by Keshet, has been a Christmas Eve favorite for Boston’s GLBT Jews for the past eight years. But for 2008, Keshet is going the traditional route by hosting a Chinese-food and movie night. Have no fear, Quick Dates will live on — it’s just being moved closer to Valentine’s Day. Keshet’s Erev Christmas begins at 6 pm at Tamm China, 423 Harvard Street, Brookline. RSVP by December 14 to Elyssa@keshetonline.org or call 617.524.9227. Details available at keshetonline.org.
The streets are deserted, the storefronts chained shut, and there's not a glimmer of neon to guide you to your favorite bar. If your Christmas Eve involves baking cookies and guzzling eggnog, hanging stockings and heading to midnight Mass, or bonding with family around a warm fire (or bickering with them — hey, a tradition's a tradition), you may never have noticed how the whole not-a-creature-was-stirring shtick can start to feel a little post-apocalyptic. The songs insist it's the most wonderful time of the year, but if you're not among the 96 percent of Americans who celebrate Christmas, it's easy to contract a mild case of ennui come late December, as more than a few Jews can testify.

With the next day likely off from work and no obligation to face the familial gauntlet run of a two-hour turkey dinner, December 24 might seem an ideal night for the chosen people to burn a little midnight oil. Yet for years, few options existed for those looking to get out of the house and escape the nonstop televised onslaught of "very special holiday episodes" and Miracle on 34th Street. Moo goo gai pan and a trip to the movie theater were essentially the sole recourses for a Christmas Eve outing. But in recent years, a new tradition has transformed that potentially isolating occasion into what, for some, is the social event of the season. December 24 is now a major club night for Jewish 20- and 30-somethings, especially those ready for a little romance — no mistletoe required.

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