Things to do On Christmas Day When You Don't Celebrate Christmas

There are many people out there who do not celebrate Christmas. Many people do not consider that Christmas is not an American or Canadian holiday but a religious holiday. What do you do on Christmas Day when you do not partake in the festivities? My first thought? Nothing. Even the places that are usually open 24 hours are closed. But there in fact plenty of things to do on Christmas Day. Here lies a list of things to do on Christmas when you do not celebrate Christmas.

2) Volunteer. (I only thought of this one after I completed my list, and had to renumber everything. I needed one serious item. This is important. There are many community service organizations, outreach groups, soup kitchens and hospitals that need volunteers every day.)
3) Visit friends who celebrate Christmas.
4) Visit friends who do not celebrate Christmas.
5) Visit friends who celebrate Christmas because they probably have better food and are likely stocked up with alcohol and may have an extra gift for you.
6) Sulk.
7) Go to Chinatown. The restaurants are open today.
8) Go to a halal restaurant.
9) Why are kosher restaurants closed on Christmas? (I am not referring to this year. It is Saturday today after all)
10) Sulk some more.
11) There is at least one restaurant in Montreal that stays open 24 hours a day and never closes, Christmas, New Year's or otherwise. So, if you can stomach Chenoy's, your typical Canadian style eatery/ deli, you've got it made. But I warn you, never, ever order a milkshake at Chenoy's. Trust me on this one.
12) Go see a movie. The theaters open in the evening.
13) Leave the country. This isn't a last minute type of idea. You should have thought of this in advance.
14) Leave the country and do the 11 other things that proceed it on the list. Or sit on a beach, etc.
15) Go skiing or tobogganing.

In my previous life working for the radio station, I would volunteer to work on Christmas Day. First of all, I would get paid time-and-a-half. Second, I had no where else to go. Third, my boss would really appreciate my seemingly altruistic behavior, as, I usually threw in that my colleagues would probably want to spend time with their families whereas I did not need to, etc. Fourth, I knew that just for working on the 25th, they would automatically give New Year's Day off. Imagine starting your shift at midnight on New Year's Day. Or at 6AM. So I always had New Year's Day off.
A friend of mine would throw a party every year on Christmas Eve. He called it the Orphan and Jews Party. As he had moved to Montreal to attend university and never left, he had no family within a six hour radius. He recognized that many of his friends under similar circumstances did not have anyone with whom to celebrate. Throw in a few Jewish friends who were stuck reading lists of things to do on Christmas and you have a party. It was usually a potluck dinner with a couple cases of beer. Hmm... I didn't get an invite this year.

So, as today is just like any other Saturday for me, I'm going to drink coffee, read the newspaper, watch True Grit (the original) on TV, go to my parents for lunch, and meet up with some friends tonight just as the world starts turning back to normal.
Or go to a Matzo Ball Party


  1. Hmmm, maybe next year, you can come to MY house!

  2. Sounds like a great idea meleah!

  3. I celebrate Christmas, but I'm always so relieved when it's over.