A Christmas Alternative

If your idea of fun doesn’t involve nutcrackers, eggnog or fat men with beards, Christmas can be a tough, boring time. Whether you’re of a different faith or the Yuletide thing just doesn’t yank your crank, here are some non-Christmas ways to spend Jesus’ birthday.

Feast on smoked meat
One restaurant that’s not closed on Christmas is Schwartz’s. Pay homage at the temple of smoked meat and enjoy a medium-fat sandwich – the perfect gift to yourself. Schwartz’s, 3895 St-Laurent Blvd, (514) 842-4813.

Eat Chinese
Deli is great, but for a more traditional Jewish Christmas, head to Chinatown for a hearty meal. This season, try Niu Kee, which specializes in the spicy cuisine of northern China, and where you should be able to get a table on Christmas Eve or Day. Niu Kee, 1163 Clark Street, (514) 227-0464.

Catch a Flick
Another time-honoured tradition: hit the movies. Though most theatres close a touch earlier on Christmas Eve, you can still grab an early show. Un-Christmas-like recommendations: the bone-chilling action of the Coen brothers’ No Country for Old Men or the atheist-minded kids’ adventure The Golden Compass.

Go dancing at the Kwanzaa Showdown

In celebration of the African-American heritage festival, Andy Williams, DJ Tahira, Kris Rios (Wax Poetics) and Blu-Rum 13 will take over the La Sala Rossa the night before the night before Christmas to put a funktastic spin on the holiday season. Sunday December 23, La Sala Rossa, 4848 St-Laurent Blvd. $5 before 10 pm, $10 after.

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