Overcoming Christmas overload, 3: the traditional “Jewish Christmas” observances

After years of hearing about “what Jews do for December 25” from friends, Hubby and I took the plunge last year. Sure, Philocrites has written about the December 24 party scene for Jewish singles, but we’ll leave that to a younger crowd, and enjoy being so, well, domesticated.

Last year, after a breakfast of stollen and some gift-giving, we lunched on Chinese food and took in a movie: the very gay and very Jewish The Producers. It was a lot of fun, and this year we’re looking forward to Dreamgirls (still very gay) and a nosh at a Chinese restaurant with a complex Cold War rendezvous past. (Locals will know what I mean if I say we’re going to Cleveland Park.)

Christian or not, Christmas can be very hard on singles and couples. There’s a temptation to try to replicate large-family celebration patterns, but these are probably not sustainable in smaller settings, or a temptation to do nothing, which just invites depression. If you’re still at a loose end, you might try this for yourself. Scare up some friends and get out of the house. If Chinese and a movie isn’t your thing, how about sandwiches and frisbee? If a conventional church service isn’t interesting, see if there’s a chapel service at a nearby hospital or airport. (At least you know you won’t be asked to join a committee.) Or you could do worse the get on the phone and reach out to people you’ve not spoken to in ages. Oh, and don’t forget the eggrolls.

Categorized as Holidays

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.


  1. Some people might want to watch an old movie musical at home and eat most of a spiral ham off of a cookie sheet perched between them on an ottoman. A bottle of Riesling is also good for this scenario.
    MISS U!

  2. Xmas 2003 — living in Oakland, Calif. — partner and I and housemate went out for sushi in San Francisco — really good sushi + really fun housemate + partner = best Christmas ever.

    ((Sorry I missed this post earlier — way too busy in Dec. to keep up with reading….))

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