We’ve compiled a list of 39 things to eat, watch, read and do on Chrismukkah. The only hard part now is choosing!
Go out for (or make!) hot chocolate
Get your sugar rush at one of these restaurants, cafes or bars open on December 24 and 25.
• Try Max Brenner’s Pumpkin Spiced Mocha: hot chocolate mixed with espresso and homemade pumpkin syrup (NYC, $6)
• Sip on Parc Brasserie’s classic Hot Chocolat ($4.50), or if you’re feeling more adventurous, try their grown-up version Café Parc: French vanilla infused Tito’s Vodka and Kahlúa mixed with La Colombe Espresso (Philadelphia, $12)
• Bombobar serves up both a Hot Chocolate ($5) and a Hotter Chocolate — the latter comes with your choice of S’mores- or Funfetti-themed additions (Chicago, $9, December 24 only)
• Tel Avivians adore Benedict’s for their 24/7 breakfast food, but they also serve a hot chocolate to die for. (Tel Aviv, ₪13)
• Tmol Shilshom, an adorable literary-themed cafe tucked away a short walk from the busy shuk, serves the tastiest hot drinks in town. (Jerusalem, various prices)
• New Yorkers rejoiced when the Israeli coffee chain Aroma opened up locations stateside — they’ll rejoice even more when they try the hot chocolate with marshmallows over the holiday weekend (NYC, $4.95)
• Stuck at home? Make delicious Mexican Hot Chocolate with spicy chile powders and cinnamon
• Or whip up some Frozen Hot Chocolate if you’re blessed with warmer weather
• The curious palate will love Sachlav, a Middle Eastern take on hot chocolate
• But traditionalists might want to stick to Italy-inspired Bicerin, rich with heavy cream
Get in the Hanukkah spirit
Start celebrating those eight days right with some quirky, entertaining and sexy (yes, sexy) activities.
• Go see “Menorah Horah,” a Hanukkah themed burlesque show featuring comedy duo The Schlep Sisters on Christmas Eve. New York City, The Highline Ballroom, Tickets: $25 advance/ $30 at door
• Check out the lighting of the world’s largest menorah (4,000-pound, 32-foot-tall) in Brooklyn, New York. Grand Army Plaza, December 25, 8pm, Free.
• Eat chinese food and watch classics “Toy Story” and “Tootsie” at The Cape Ann Cinema & Stage in Gloucester, MA. December 24, 5:15-10:30, $20.00/adults, $12.00/kids 6-18.
• Listen to live jazz music and eat chinese food, latkes and gelt at Beth Menachem Chabad of Newton in Newton, MA. December 24, $5/advance, $10/at door, 7pm.
• Go to “Hanukkah at Universal Citywalk,” one of the biggest Hanukkah celebrations in Southern California. The event features a 1,000 pound menorah and Jewish rock bands Pardes Rock and 8th Day. December 24, 100 Universal City Plaza, 8-10 p.m.
• Dan Friedman’s piece on why he hates Hanukkah and you should, too
• Or Benjamin Resnick on learning to love Chrismukkah
• Feel for the woman who became The Grinch of Christmas Street
• And the rabbi whose daughter asked him for a Christmas Tree
• Snuggle up with a hot drink and a fresh print edition of the Forward
Go party hard
C’mon, you deserve it.
• Unattached and looking to meet people? Matzo Ball is a national party for Jewish singles. Parties are held on Christmas Eve and take place in Miami, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., New York and Los Angeles.
• Get your groove on listening Bollywood music (with a twist). DJ Rekha will be mixing Bhangra and Bollywood sounds with contemporary electronic dance music at (le) poisson rouge in New York City on Christmas. 10pm, $12/advance, $15/day of.
• Have a jazz-filled brunch at Blue Note in New York City. Tickets are $35 and include brunch, music and a drink.
Watch TV or go to the movies
Sometimes you just need to watch Netflix under the covers.
• Haven’t binge watched the new season of “Transparent”? Watch it on Amazon Prime.
• Go see Natalie Portman in the biopic “Jackie.”
• Check out Chelsea Handler’s talk show “Chelsea” streaming on Netflix for your pop culture, comedy and current events fix.
Make yummy Hanukkah themed treats
Eat Chinese Food
What’s more of a tradition than Jews eating Chinese food on Christmas Eve? Get your fix at one of these restaurants, all open Dec 24 and 25.
• Dine on traditional favorites at the chic and sleek O’Woks (Los Angeles, kosher, entrees $18-35)
• Buddha Bodai is a hidden Chinatown gem serving up vegan Asian cuisine (NYC, kosher, entrees $9-22)
• Even the hardest to impress guests will be moved by the fantastic offerings at Hakkasan (NYC, not kosher, entrees $24-158)
• Florida’s Jews are blessed with warm winter weather and the delicious food of Soho Asian Bar and Grill (Aventura FL, kosher, entrees $13-52)
• If you can’t decide between American, Israeli, or Szechuan cuisine, KB Grill & Wok has you covered (Baltimore, kosher, entrees $9-19)
• Members of Secret Tel Aviv often rave about Xing Long — and the fact that it’s open on Shabbat (Tel Aviv, not kosher, ₪46-80)
• Or perhaps spicy eggplant and sirloin steak stir-fry is more your thing?
• If you’ve got time, make your own Chinese 5 spice
• Then add it to this easy chicken stir fry
Laura E. Adkins is the Forward’s contributing network editor. Contact her at email@example.com or on Twitter, @Laura_E_Adkins. Thea Glassman is an Associate Editor at the Forward. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @theakglassman.
Forget tinsel, trees and twinkly lights. For Jews, Christmas holds the promise of massive amounts of Chinese food.
Which is why, with the 25th just around the corner, one would think that it would be wise to be extra-nice to your local purveyor of magical soup dumplings and General Tso.
Ben Edelman disagrees. After ordering $53.35 worth of Chinese food from the Sichuan Garden in Brookline, the Harvard Business School associate professor realized that he had been overcharged. By $4 (GASP). And because he’s fighting the good fight, protecting the consumer from those terrible neighborhood mom and pop shops, he sent a series of emails to the owner asking for his money back, with damages.
Sure, you could sit at home with some lo mein and grab an action flick. But Christmas is far from a wasteland for Jewish events. From gorgeous kosher dinners to trivia night for nerds to clubs full of Jewish singles, we’ve rounded up something for everyone.
Dance Around the Matzo
Jewish singles, rejoice. The annual Matzoball takes place on Christmas Eve, and it’s one of the biggest matchmaking events of the year, or a good place to do some serious dancing. Hosted by the Society of Young Jewish Professionals, these ragers take place in clubs across the country. This year, there’ll be Matzoballs in New York City, Miami, Boca Raton, Toronto, Boston, LA, Philadelphia, and D.C.
Go to matzoball.org for more details.
Chow Down with Eddie Huang
Step up the traditional Christmas Day Chinese take-out with restaurateur Eddie Huang’s globetrotting cuisine. Huang is whipping up a six-course Kosher dinner at downtown Manhattan hotspot Jezebel, first come first served. For $88, you can feast on Huang’s spicy short-rib noodle soup with beef and fennel peppercorn dumplings, and sample Szechuan roasted Cornish hens. Who needs figgy pudding?
Jezebel: 646.410.0717. For more information, go to jezebelnyc.com
On Monday, Michael Levy wrote about Jews and Chinese Food. His posts are being featured this week on The Arty Semite courtesy of the Jewish Book Council and My Jewish Learning’s Author Blog Series. For more information on the series, please visit:
My last post began with a list of stereotypes about Jews. We tell jokes; we like Chinese food; etc. While living and teaching in central China a few years ago, I ran into a few stereotypes that were new to me. I was serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guizhou Province teaching English at a university way off the beaten path. I was one of a small handful of foreigners — and the only Jew — in a province of 40 million people. My students could be forgiven for a few strange ideas about their guests.
Thus, when one of my students handed in a paper with the title “GREAT JEW” I knew I was in for a few surprises. The letter summarized the status of world Jewry:
Juju Chang, the well-liked newsreader on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” was born in South Korea but is now “twice as Jewish” as her Jewish-born husband, former NBC News President Neal Shapiro. Shapiro made the joking comment in Sunday’s New York Times, in a “Sunday Routine” profile summarizing the pair’s Sunday activities with their three sons. The couple devotes much of the day to baseball, Shapiro reported, waking up early to watch their eldest son’s double-headers. Asked by the Times about his wife’s religious background, he noted that she had converted to Judaism when the pair got married.
The conversion appears to have been both religious and cultural. After baseball games, Chang, Shapiro and their kids often go out for Italian food, Shapiro noted — or order Chinese food at home, “as all good Jewish families do on Sunday night.”
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