Even though Santa will probably not be coming to your house (for obvious reasons), that does not mean that you have to sit at home alone and be bored.
Christmas Eve, widely considered the biggest night of the year for Jewish singles, promises a host of opportunities to get out and dance — or, at the very least, just get out.
As he's done for the past 10 years, Andrew Spivack, co-owner of Pulse of Philly Promotions, will host separate parties for 20s to 30s, and 40 and over at Cuba Libre and 32 Degrees, while the Matzo Ball returns to Philly at The Roxxy.
The party for 20s and 30s begins at 9 p.m. at Cuba Libre, 10 S. Second Street, Old City, Philadelphia. The 40 and over, "J Ball Philly, a 40-plus Christmas Eve Event," runs from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., at 32 Degrees (adjacent to Cuba Libre). At 10 p.m., the 40-and-over crowd can pay an additional $5 for "front-of-the-line" access to the 21 and over party, Spivack said.
In addition to a range of DJ music from hip hop, mash up and Top 40, Spivack plans to sweeten the night with several giveaways, including a four-day, three-night stay for two at the all-inclusive, luxury Paradisus Riviera Cancun Resort. Airfare is not included.
"We're going to get more additions to the party," Spivack said.
Last year, close to 700 people attended the two parties, Spivack said.
"It's a way for Jewish people to have a night of their own on Christmas Eve, to make Dec. 24 more than just Christmas Eve and make it a Jewish night out."
'I Can Do It Better'
Spivack and his partner, Adam Solomon, have been throwing parties for 10 years.
"I was 25, and most of the people were too old for me," he said of parties he attended. "I thought, I could do it better. Now, I'm probably the age of the people I didn't want to hang out with [back then]."
Pulse of Philly Promotions hosts a half-dozen other parties throughout the year, but Spivack noted that Dec. 24 is the big one. Ticket information is available at www.pulseofphilly.com.
No matter what goes down, Ross Berkowitz of The Collaborative, the social group for Jews in their 20s and 30s, and one of the event's co-sponsors, said it is a party, not a dance.
"Christmas Eve is one of the biggest nights of the year for this crowd to go out," Berkowitz said. "I've been there the last five years since I moved back here. It's a lot of fun. I get to see a lot of people I know and people I grew up with. It's a great opportunity to meet other new people."
Not to be outdone, the Matzo Ball is back in town, after a one-year absence in Philly, this time at the Roxxy, 939 N. Delaware Ave. (www.matzoball.org).
Andrew Rudnick, founder of Matzo Ball, a subsidiary of the Society of Young Jewish Professionals, has been hosting Christmas Eve parties around the country since 1987. He anticipates up to 1,500 partygoers at the Roxxy. Doors open at 9 p.m.
"We've been doing this for a long time," he said. "We tend to draw a larger crowd because we do this in a lot of cities."
Rudnick, who met his wife at one of his dances in 1997, said he got into the Christmas Eve party business after attending a dance at a hotel bar in Boston.
"It was very inhibiting," he said. "It felt like a prom, and the atmosphere was wrong — but the idea made sense."
With some DJ music, lighting and night-club ambiance, the party can rock, he said. "It's the one night of the year you can offer a club venue to young Jewish people — it's a special night," he said. "It's been an institution, and there's a lot of competition out there. We're marketers, people know our name."
Don't Forget About Bowling
If you're not worn out by all the partying, the Collaborative, is also hosting a Christmas Day bowling party at North Bowl in Northern Liberties, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Berkowitz, the Collaborative's executive director, said there is a fee to bowl, but an RSVP is not required. Last year, more than 100 bowlers turned up for a similar event, he said. For more information, go to: www. thecollaborative.org
Wherever you end up, enjoy the dance — I mean, the party.
Roy S. Gutterman is a Syracuse, N.Y.-based writer. To contact him, visit: www.Lrev.com.