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Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

What This Jew Does On Christmas Eve In Toronto

December 24, 2011 Leave a comment

chinese restaurant note thanks Jews for eating on christmas

Yes, this year it happens to be that it is still Hanukkah but we don’t have massive meals with the whole family and tons of celebrations every night for 8 nights during Hanukkah. As well, Hanukkah doesn’t usually happen to coincide with Christmas (although they are usually pretty close to each other).

There is this video that has been around and on YouTube since 2007 called “Chinese Food On Christmas.” It is somewhat of a stereotype that Jews go to the movies and eat Chinese food on Christmas but there is a lot of truth to it…what the heck else are we supposed to do after all? The above picture has been floating around the internet I am told for quite a while but the stereotype is totally true simply because unless we want to go to Kosher restaurants Chinese places are pretty much the only places open to get food on Christmas, that and movie theaters. To be fair, this is changing as more and more of the population are not Christian or not that interested in practicing and spending time doing huge family meals. I don’t judge other people’s religions because I appreciate it if no one judges me with mine (or lack thereof).

You already know that I stocked up on books to read this holiday season but even that wears thin after a couple of hours. Truth be told, there is something else Jews (and those who don’t celebrate Christmas) can do on Christmas Eve in major cities: PARTY! In a lot of cities with large Jewish populations they have a yearly “Matzoball” which is in its 23rd year here in Toronto. Because Toronto has enough people interested in going out on Christmas Eve there is also another event referred to as Dreidle Rock which is in its 10th year. Read more…

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My First Eggnog! (With Rum)

December 23, 2011 2 comments

Trying Eggnog at Grindhouse Burger Bar

Nope, I have never had eggnog before last night at Grindhouse Burger Bar during #LoserKaraoke. As you can see in the above screen capped tweet my friend @SachaSayan was the one who introduced me to this holiday drink. I had never had it before because I grew up in an Orthodox Jewish household and although eggnog is – I am pretty sure – kosher, we were not ones who often engaged in Christian traditions and eggnog Christmas-time was one of those. But after hearing about it for about 30 years I decided it was finally time to try the stuff out.

Why the heck did I try it at Grindhouse Burger Bar you ask? Well, long story short, I was sitting talking to Sacha at the bar and inwardly sort of praying we would get up to sing karaoke (we didn’t, our fault for showing up at 1:30am) and he spied a carton of “the ‘nog” behind the bar and asked the bartender about it. Told it was $5 per glass he ordered one. I, never having had eggnog before, related this fact to Sacha and I was somewhat hesitant to try it because he said while it is a decent drink there’s a reason they only sell it during the winter holiday season…would there even be a market for it the rest of the year if it wasn’t tradition? I mulled this over and then Sacha mentioned that our friend @Affan had also recently tried the nog of egg for the first time and Affan had liked it. That settled the decision, I had a sip of Sacha’s eggnog (it helped that the order of eggnog included a hefty dollop of rum!) and thought it was quite alright. I then ordered my own glass of it and the picture you see above was taken for posterity.

If I were to describe it to anyone out there who has never, like me before last night, had eggnog before I would say that it sort of tastes like butterscotch flavored pudding – which I am huge fan of. Still, I don’t know how often I will be drinking eggnog in the future. HOWEVER, there is a reason for me to continue trying it and that is the description of the drink I read on Wikipedia. While I had it with rum according to Wikipedia it is also not uncommon to use Brandy, whisky, bourbon, Kahlua, vodka, or a combination of liquors. This sounds like something that requires further investigation. Also, my friend Meg Button (who’s sort of a Twitter celeb) tells me that “ButtonNog” is way better than regular eggnog so I need to try that soon!

Will I ever have eggnog without alcohol? I’d say a 99% chance of no because why the heck would I bother? One of the funniest reactions to the tweet you see pictured and linked above was @nympsam‘s which you can find here (and is pictured below).

Never Tried Eggnog Tweets @nympsam @SachaSayan @TheDanLevy @AffanWere Affan and I alone? Is it really that messed up as Samantha says? Have you also never tried eggnog or just have tried it for your first time recently? What’s your reason(s)?

Google’s 2011 Holiday Eggs (aka Easter Eggs)

December 21, 2011 Leave a comment

If you go to Google this holiday season there are a number of hidden messages or in-jokes which you can be a part of just by searching. Usually these kinds of things are called “Easter Eggs” but I don’t if it’s a fitting name since the winter holidays do not include Easter. That’s why they are definitely either – in my mind – “Holiday Eggs” or maybe even “Google Eggs.”

Google Holiday Egg Hanukkah

If you go to Google and type in certain key words you can get a little extra little addition for some extra holiday cheer. For Hanukka you can use the variations:

  • chanukah
  • hanukkah
  • happy hanukkah
  • happy chanukah

Google Holiday Egg Let It Snow start

One other one you can try is “let it snow” which starts snow on your browser window and eventually fogs it up as you see above and below.

Google Holiday Egg Let It Snow defrost option

And once the ‘window’ is all ‘fogged up with the snow’ your search button becomes a defrost button if you want to reset it. But wait! not so fast! You can use your mouse once the window is fogged up to write on it!!! Check out the image below and you’ll see what I wrote.

Google Holiday Egg Let It Snow write on windowThis also works on the iPad (so I assume it works on the iPad 2 as well) but it didn’t work on an iPhone 4S or a BlackBerry Bold 9900 when we tried it

But Google didn’t stop there. They made sure everyone was included! There’s Christmas…

Google Holiday Egg Christmas

For Christmas type:

  • christmas
  • merry christmas
  • xmas

As well, they also did Kwanzaa…

Google Holiday Egg Kwanzaa

For Kwanzaa you can type:

  • kwanzaa
  • happy kwanzaa

Seems that Happy New Years & New Years don’t do anything. Boxing Day doesn’t work either in case you’re wondering.

#ATorontoXmas 2011 Was A Blast!

December 17, 2011 Leave a comment

Last night I got together with the #PartyPeopleTO (aka @PartyPeopleTO on Twitter) crew and had a fantastic time out for that charity event I told you about#ATorontoXmas at the Steam Whistle Brewery and we did it all for charity! (And to abuse our livers.) I thought I’d share some pics from the good times last night and make you salivate to join in next year if you missed this year. I don’t know how much we raised for GlassFrog but if I find out I will be sure to let you know. I hope quite a bit!

Some of these pics (where noted) come from @EstherKatzman, @MDee14, @OliveYouPR and @Shashena‘s Twitter streams. I hope they don’t mind my borrowing them!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I also learned a two important lessons which I want to share with all gentlemen out there.

  1. When a lady (or group of ladies) tells you to take a picture “Boobs Up” that does not mean you, as the photographer should try and somehow find an angle for the photo in which their boobs appear higher. (I was quite confused by this.) Rather, “Boobs Up” really means “From the boobs up” but those first two words are apparently implied. I had no idea about this before last night.
  2. When you are attempting to pick up a lady/hitting on her at a Christmas party it is not a good idea to call her “Santa’s little whore.” One of my friends was called this last night by someone who I am going to hope had imbibed in too much alcohol because otherwise he wouldn’t have been such a rude scoundrel.

OK, I’ll be honest, I knew the second one already I was just astonished that somebody would say that. Honestly, in the words of  Stephanie Tanner “How rude!”

Hope you had a great weekend and excuse the short post for tonight and chalk it up to getting really into a new book – 11/23/1963 by Stephen King which I mentioned I just recently got.

#ATorontoXmas Charity Event At Steam Whistle Brewery

December 12, 2011 2 comments

atorontochristmas

My friend Meg Button is kind of a big deal on the Twitters with the handle @MegButton. I’m actually pretty lucky to call her my friend because Klout continually says she is a Twitter celebrity. But I digress.

You all know I am a huge fan of Steam Whistle and that I attended their event for Oktoberfest as well as got an awesome tour of their facilities in September. Meg has teamed up with Hennessey Events for this event raising money for GlassFrog to bring you the city’s swankiest charitable Christmas party! Here’s the official Facebook event page for it http://www.facebook.com/events/253139528061000/. The event is also listed on the Steam Whistle website here.

The event is already blowing up on Twitter with #ATorontoXmas as the hashtag.

What the heck is GlassFrog? Well they’re a charity whose mission is to swiftly deploy shelter, water and fuel to meet immediate needs of those impacted by disasters worldwide. They tell more about it on the Hennessey  Events blog here http://hennesseyevents.com/seeing-past-the-green.

We hope you can join us at Steam Whistle Brewery on Friday, December 16th for A Toronto Christmas at 9pm (www.ATorontoChristmas.com). Tickets are going for $40 and are available hereFIFTY PERCENT of the ticket price will be donated to the charity which is just awesomesauce. Also, Meg has hard tickets (as in not digital) available if need be so get in touch with her on Twitter.

I am, as per usual, going to be completely open and honest and let you all know I am being hooked up with a free ticket for the event. HOWEVER, I was ready to buy a ticket to it and support this event because:

  • It’s a great cause.
  • Meg is my friend.
  • I like going to parties.
  • I like the folks at Steam Whistle.

Also, the fact that I’m going to this party should say something. After all, it’s a Christmas Party and I’m Jewish! See, they’re all sorts of inclusive when it comes to charity!

If you’re a member of the, now infamous, debauched group of folks on Twitter flying under the #PartyPeopleTO hashtag you will be pleased to know that the mysterious operator of the brand spanking new @PartyPeopleTO account has managed to secure the #PartyPeopleTO crew our own area in the Gallery at #ATorontoChristmas with not one but TWO Tweet screens for us to clog with tweets for the night. This is probably going to get messy so it is a good thing the brewery is right near TTC Union Station!

Now, more about the party itself: This year, Toronto’s own Nights & Weekends will be playing this party! I have never heard of them but they are a band which fuses bluesy rock with elements of hip hop. Nights & Weekends command their own unique sound that has been pumping energy and fun into packed rooms across North America since 2008. Their recorded work has been featured on MTV’s Jersey Shore and The Hills (I wonder if the other Dan Levy has met them?) and their live show has quickly become one of the most buzzed about music experiences in Toronto.

Santa hats and reindeer antlers will be given out at the door, but be careful who you get caught under the mistletoe with!….Or maybe don’t! 😉 Even with those reindeer antlers and Santa hats, it seems this is a “semi-formal” attired event.

Check out the video from last year’s event below

Ticket Link:

Toronto Christmas Light Display 2011 Outside House Near Wilson Station

November 30, 2011 Leave a comment

I was walking to Wilson Station in Toronto on November 28, 2011 at around 6pm and saw that some people in my area on Goodwill Avenue had already gotten their Christmas decorating well underway.

This was one of the most extravagant demonstrations I have ever seen in my neighborhood! It was complete with motorized/moving decorations and its own soundtrack – which I hope you’ll be able to hear.

I am sure there are crazier displays out there but didn’t know the hardcore people started it up this early! I always they did it progressively not in one fell swoop. Maybe they wanted to get it done before it REALLY cold? (If so, good timing because today we got out first stick-on-the-ground snowfall, light though it was.) I would love to know how many people it takes to set this up and how long. I am guessing they did it over the weekend.

As I say in the video, easily one of the most insane lawn decorations at someone’s house I have ever seen. You also gotta love it when they do this level of decoration outside a house which is not a massive house. These people are really into the holidays and are taking joy out of it and good for them! I can say this even though I’m Jewish because I am all for people enjoying the positive aspects of any religion and spreading cheer and joy at any time.

Know of any other over the top houses in the Christmas decorations category? I am sure there are plenty around Toronto and I am sure there will sooner or later be some sort of geeky twist on someone’s Christmas decorations – like the family who hooked their lights up to the internet and let people control it at certain times during the day and see the livestream on a webcam. You also got to appreciate this amount of dedication in celebrating any holiday.

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