It's not a uniquely Jewish thing. The question of what to do on Christmas Eve while much of the world celebrates a holiday that shuts down restaurants, clubs, bars and other places of dating worship puts anyone who doesn't partake in the holiday in the same boat. And when Christmas Eve falls on a Friday or Saturday ... well, the results for one's social life can be disastrous!
Speaking as one, young Jewish singles take their Christmas Eves pretty seriously. The traditional "Chinese food and a movie" we joke about around the table in my family (and have occasionally resorted to) just doesn't cut it for many of the professional, single, twenty- and thirty-somethings in cities across the US.
Then, 23 years ago someone brilliant said “Let there be parties!” And there were parties. And they were good! The Matzo Ball rolled onto the scene and gave us single, minglin' Jews a chance to meet up with friends and maybe even find love, whether it be long-term or merely for the duration of the night. Not long after, the Bagel Ball (aka The Ball) followed suit, as have other similar parties. Now, we're plagued with a new problem: Which Ball to attend? Part reunions, part singles bashes, either of Vegas' options for December 24, 2009 is better than a plate of Moo Goo Gai Pan and Ice Age 12 with your parents.
The Bagel Ball:
Hosted by Blush Boutique Nightclub at Wynn Las Vegas, Vegas' 15th annual Bagel Ball is presented by the Jewish Community Center of Southern Nevada and is open to all adults over 21. Doors open at 8 p.m. for complimentary cocktails courtesy of Southern Wine & Spirits and hors d'oeurvres from Wynn Las Vegas' Society Café until 10 p.m. The party continues until 1 a.m. with plenty of "dancing, schmoozing and grooving." Nightclub attire is suggested.
Attendees bringing a $5 grocery gift card will receive a free raffle ticket. Gift cards will be donated to the Jewish Family Service Agency Food Pantry, which provides nutritious food and hygiene products to Clark County residents. Other raffle tickets for a variety of prizes are available for $5 each. Proceeds also benefit the JFSA Food Pantry.
Tickets for the Bagel Ball are $18 in advance for JCC members and $25 in advance for non-members, and must be purchased by December 23. Tickets are $35 at the door. Tickets can be purchased by calling the JCC at 794-0090. The JCC accepts MasterCard and Visa.
The Matzo Ball:
Now in its 23rd successful year, the original, registered trademarked Matzo Ball® — touted as the nation's largest Jewish mixer — will be held at Privé Nightclub at Planet Hollywood, with doors opening at 8 p.m. Promising to deliver "a night of high-energy networking and matchmaking for singles ages 21-49," the Matzo Ball will be going on in 11 metropolitan cities across the country, sponsored by the Society of Young Jewish Professionals, JDate and SLEEK Medspa.
USA Today has called this annual affair the "Nation's No. 1 Holiday Party." Tickets are available for advance purchase online for $25 at matzoball.org and are available at the door for $30.