Cheap cheer

By VANESSA CZARNECKI  |  December 12, 2006

For some of you, the caroling and flashing lights might make you wish you were deaf, dumb, and blind. Not to worry; you, too, have a reason to get out of bed for zero dollars a day. Find warmth and respite between the heated, hallowed walls of the Boston Public Library in Copley Square. Every Monday, at 6 pm, the library will screen a film in the Rabb Lecture Hall as part of their ongoing Makeover Movie Series. On December 11, check out Shampoo; on December 18, Blow Dry; on January 8, Hairspray . . . Okay, you get the idea. The films aren’t especially holiday-centric, but the price is right. For more information, go to

And if visions of sugarplums are still beating you over the head, take a mini vacation to the Hynes Convention Center on December 9 and 10, where you can bask in the offerings of cultures that don’t even know or — gasp! — care much about Santa Claus. The Cultural Survivor Bazaar, which runs from 11 am to 7 pm, features indigenous artisans, ethnic cuisine, and a generally great way to avoid the Holiday scene. We hate to be the one to say it, but you could probably find a sweet Christmas gift there, too.

Fun for less than $20
If you have fewer than two Franklins, you can still enjoy many of the city’s famous Holiday outings. Just $4 gains you admission to the Boston Common Frog Pond, where you can try out your triple lutz or, more likely, clean the rink with your ass. Bring your own skates or rent them for $8, but steer clear early on Friday and Saturday evenings unless freezing your butt off while standing in line really gets your holiday blood pumping.

And speaking of pumping, the First Night extravaganza will keep your heart racing all night long. A $15 button gives you entry to more than 200 theater, dance, music, and arts performances at more than 30 downtown locations on December 31. Isn’t that a little overdone? Well, yeah . . . we’re not gonna lie. But the booze will be flowing, the ice sculptures will be glistening, and you’ll finally be able to say you were invited to the biggest (and cheapest) party in town.

More adventurous types, meanwhile, should storm the Old South Meeting House where they can let out their holiday aggression by screaming Revolutionary War–era epithets during the 232nd anniversary Boston Tea Party Reenactment. The event, performed by the Old South Tea Party players, kicks off at 5 pm and costs $5 to watch. But live a little; if you dress up in colonial garb it’s free. Now that’s something we’d pay to see.

For a few dollars more
Let’s face it; if you’re in the throes of the consumer season and still have more than $20 to throw at a night on the town, you don’t need our frugal- (or feeble-?) minded help. But money doesn’t buy imagination, so if you haven’t already heard, here’s two more options. First, on December 17, head to the Berklee Performance Center to join Berklee dropout and star singer-songwriter Aimee Mann kick off her First Annual Christmas Show. She’ll be joined by Fred Armisen of Saturday Night Live and several other surprise guests, and will play a sanity-saving mix of Christmas classics and original songs. Tickets are $29 and $35 and can be purchased at the Berklee box office or at

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