Cheap cheer

The Scrooge – lovers guide to seasonal fun
By VANESSA CZARNECKI  |  December 12, 2006

BUFF SANTAS in holiday Speedos hit Boylston Street, December 16

Why bother caroling when you can spike your eggnog and sing karaoke? Heck, why venture into the windy streets when you can snuggle next to the radiator with a six-pack of cheep beer?

We’re not about to argue with however you chose to spend your holiday, but lest you pass the most wonderful time of the year in your rat-infested apartment watching John Tesh’s Christmas special, we thought we’d present you with a couple of fun — and cheap — options to kick your butt into gear and out into the crisp, winter air. Pick what you like, re-gift the rest. And if all else fails, keep your eyes on the street: they’re teeming with swanky holiday parties waiting to be crashed.

It's all free
Christmas is the one time of year when you can suck down chocolate and prance through the streets like an idiot. So if you’re looking to recapture that child-like cheer, head to Faneuil Hall, where every Saturday and Sunday afternoon in December the market is overrun with snotty-nosed kids taking part in the annual Reindeer Games. Sure, it’s intended for the seriously pre-pubescent crowd, but the interactive activities and performances will conjure your inner child and have you pining for Santa’s lap in no time.

If crashing rich kids’ parties is more your style, stop by Cambridge and Charles Streets on December 8 from 5 to 9 pm for the Beacon Hill Holiday Stroll. Check out the elaborately decorated streets, or stay put on Charles Street where you can partake of free refreshments, buggy rides, tree lightings, and a visit from Mr. Claus. Don’t worry; it’s not just for neighborhood residents. Besides, Beacon Hill is the only part of Boston that’s relatively rodent free, so do your part to spread holiday cheer by introducing freeloading vermin into the city’s most wealthy community.

Still looking to deck the halls family-style? Head to Puopolo Park for the North End’s Christmas Parade (December 11, 1 pm). Or, skip it and help put the ho, ho, ho back into holiday fun. Gawk at the brave souls who’ve dared to bare (nearly) all as they race down Boylston Street for the Santa Speedo Run. The 1 pm event benefits charity. And you, too, can do your part by donating a warm drink to the runners when the after party moves to Lir.

If the thought of athletes in green and red Speedos and Santa hats has you feeling too mushy inside, get thee to Mount Auburn’s carol singing and poetry reading (December 16, 1 pm), where holiday cheer is served with a side of morbidity at the city’s most ornate cemetery. The event is free, but you have to register in advance by calling 617.601.1981.

What about the Jews? Don’t they get a chance to parade around Boston’s most elaborate graves? Unfortunately, the city doesn’t offer much other than the annual lighting of the menorah, on Boston Common from December 15 to 22. Make sure to stop by Sunday, when the party really starts. The 4 pm lighting will feature dignitaries and live music. Shalom!

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Related: Beyond a joke, Flashbacks: June 2, 2006, JC > TC, More more >
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