Monday, December 26, 2011

How I spent my first solo Christmas

I am happy to report that my first Christmas sans family was not a miserable lonely affair. It was actually rather low-key and nice. It occurred to me today that, quite by accident, I engaged in a number of my favorite activities.

1. Sleeping late

Some of my friends with more grown-up lives were awakened at the crack of dawn by their Santa-believing youngsters. Not I. I slept in till 11:30am. It was fantastic. There are few things I love more than sleeping. I am a varsity sleeper. This is apparently normal according to my zodiac/astrology chart -- those born on March 1 "need a lot of sleep because they have especially active dream lives." So true and so great to have a sort-of-legit-but-not-really-"scientific"-explanation for my penchant to spend half the day in bed.

2. Cooking

I made myself a fancy breakfast from some leftover stuff in my fridge. I considered attempting my first omelet, but didn't want to risk failure on Christmas, so I opted instead for the frittata route. I wilted some spinach in garlic and oil, added gorgonzola, and folded it into my eggs. YUM.

3. Muppets

After "breakfast" (which was consumed around 12:30), I cuddled up with Maude to watch The Muppet Christmas Carol. I hadn't watched it in years and it was so heartwarming! The scene where Piggy (Mrs. Cratchett) and Kermit (Bob Cratchett) are mourning the loss of Tiny Tim actually made me cry. Also, kudos to Michael Caine for his sincere and committed portrayal of Scrooge -- it's as though he's not even aware his costars are made of felt.

4. Chinese food

Since coming back from China, I haven't eaten much Chinese food. After consuming nothing but for almost a month, I was a little burned out. But I rediscovered my love for the cuisine last night at The Golden Temple in Brookline. I finally experienced the Jewish tradition of Chinese food on Christmas. The place was a madhouse, already packed at 5:30 pm. Fortunately, my friends had reserved ahead; otherwise we would have had to take our chances at some sketchy hole in the wall joint like Lucky Wah. If all you want for Christmas is food poisoning, Lucky Wah is your jam. Or as one Yelper eloquently put it, "Lucky Wah doesn't just make you feel a little iffy. It makes you feel like death incarnate. Like you've been immersed in so much salt that you could be stuffed into a barrel and consumed by New World-bound Puritans."

Fortunately, Golden Temple uses very fresh ingredients and no MSG. The crispy green beans with garlic were phenomenal and will probably haunt my dreams.

5. Going to the movies

I went to see Hugo and while the 3D gave me a slight headache, it was the perfect movie to see on Christmas. Well-made, beautiful to look at, good story, and 3D effects that actually enhanced the film.

6. Drinking craft cocktails in a swanky lounge

I finished off the night at the newly opened bar, The Hawthorne, located in the Hotel Commonwealth. My friend is a bartender there, so I stopped in to say hello and sip their high-class version of eggnog, The Flip Royale, made with ginger liquor, rooibos tea-infused simple syrup, soda water and a raw egg. (You can watch it being made here.) I also had something called The Bishop, which is basically a rum sour topped off with red wine. Yes, weird-sounding, but surprisingly delicious.

So that's how I spent my Christmas. Not too shabby. I did miss my family, but I spoke to them all on the phone and will see some of them soon in the New Year.

To wrap it up, I invite you to bask in the awesome glory of my rather large Christmas tree and my rather large cat.

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