Dear New Yorker,
Congratulations on taking the first step: recognizing that you need help. The holiday season is hard for us all, and there’s no shame in reaching out for succor. Let us help you get through it. Read on.
You suddenly begin to hum a hymn un-ironically as your cheek brushes against some Christmas garland in Duane Reade. And is it your imagination or are the homeless men smelling better these days? Then, as you get jostled outside the Virgin Megastore by a corpulent lady and her overstuffed shopping bags, you catch a glimpse of the Empire State Building’s red and green bulbs bathing the city in its soft glow. And you think it really is a wonderful life. Congratulations you sap! You’ve arrived at the most frightening stage of all — acceptance.
Just as Leonard Cohen once sang, “There ain’t no cure for love,” so it is that there’s no cure for holiday cheer. The calendar will take care of you in due time and return you to your normal cheerless self.
Holiday movies? And how! Why not try a little something out of the ordinary this year? Santa Claus Has Blue Eyes is a 46-minute oddity from 1966. In this version ol’ St Nick puts on the red suit to get laid. How very French.
Dec. 13, Florence Gould Hall, 12:30, 3:30, 6:30pm
Radio stations and department stores have all but sucked the life out of every holiday ditty from ‘White Christmas’ to Adam Sandler’s ‘Chanukah Song’. Miraculously a few songs still inspire more glee than dread. Springsteen’s ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’, The Ramones’ ‘Merry Christmas (I don’t Wanna Fight)’, and ‘Rockin Around the Christmas Tree’ by smoky-voiced Brenda Lee. Tower Records, 692 Broadway
Turkey, gravy, potatoes… whatevs. Fish is the new holiday brain food. The Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant offers the “Feast of the Seven Fishes” a traditional Italian way to herald the new year. Dec. 21, James Beard House, 7pm, 167 W. 12th St.
Now when there’s talk of embracing the holiday tradition, two peoples come to mind. The Krauts and the Jews — just not in the same room — don’t take this holiday cheer crap too far. Celebrate the Chosen way at the Second Avenue Deli. Would it kill you to have a gefilte fish once in a while? And for the poor Christians? Rolf’s has splendifourous Christmas decorations and wonderful, glorious Schnapps!!!
2nd Ave Deli, 156 Second Ave; Rolf’s, 281 Third Ave
Real World Integration Exercises
Now that you’ve accepted the season, you’re ready to laugh and laugh. Do it with an extra dose of zaniness at Shenanigans on Ice by Collaboration Town. A spectacular sketch comedy spectacular!
Dec. 10, 8pm and 10pm. Arthur Seelan Theatre, Drama Book Shop, 250 W 40th St, $5 sug. donation… did we mention the free beer?
Holiday Triggers to Avoid
Avoid? Who wants to avoid? We loooove the holidays! The days after Christmas though, with their madcap retail sales, are another matter. Do something low key like bowling, or arranging your gifts according to size, price or color.
Leisure Time Bowling Center and Cocktail Lounge, Port Authority, 42nd St and Ninth Ave
Signs You’re Ready to Progress to the Next Stage
In this case the next stage would be New Year’s Eve denial, wherein you convince yourself that staying home marveling at Dick Clark’s faintly lined face constitutes a plan. Fool.