Secret Santas

Jewish Christmas Eve, and other weird holiday traditions



oston has always had an on-again, off-again relationship with Christmas. The Puritans banned it altogether. It was illegal to mention St. Nicholas, exchange gifts, or sing carols. Thank the Revolutionary War (see? You knew it affected yousomehow) for changing all that. The colonists rejected all things British, including the outlawing of Christmas, and embraced the holiday so much that, by 1857, a guy in Medford wrote a song about his travels over the river and though the woods, to his grandmother’s house to celebrate. Now some weird new traditions are popping up. They may offend the purists, but, hey, we can just keep them between us. They’ll never know:


A museum to the Puritans who banned Christmas


Check out the plaque at High and Forest streets in Medford, where writer James Pierpont, who lived at 87 Mystic St., wrote “Jingle Bells.”


Beyond Chinese and a movie: Christmas Eve nightclubbing for Jews and friends…


… and music and laughs for non-Christians, Christmas Eve


A rowdy bar that’s open Christmas …


… and a jazz club that is, too.


Make the yule-tide gay in a place you might not have thought to spend your holidays.

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