Your Guide to an Alternative Christmas
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Your Guide to an Alternative Christmas


Not everyone’s December 25th consists of bulging stockings hanging from a mantel, unwrapping presents in the reflection of Christmas tree ornaments, and a grandmother in her pearls and green and red apron carving a turkey at the family dinner. For those not living in a movie, who are boycotting the holidays, or who forgot about Santa’s birthday, Torontoist has the guide to an alternative Christmas.
Those Charity Drives Were for a Reason
Remember the Bratz doll you donated to Toy Mountain last week? It’s probably too late for you to have the volunteer opportunity of actually handing it to a child on Christmas morning. But the North York Harvest, Daily Bread, and Fort York food banks may still be looking for last minute help.
In the spirit of small acts of kindness, bake something with the magic of Pilsbury, tie a ribbon around it, and personally deliver it to someone who may be alone today- a single parent, an international student away from home, or a husband or wife whose spouse is in Afghanistan. Or you can spread Yuletide cheer by standing on the street in your elf costume, handing out candy canes to passersby. People do take candy from strangers. Trust us.
When Dinner Burns
It happens. See if you can secure a last-minute reservation and $59 per adult for the Sutton Place Hotel Christmas supper tonight. The feast consists of a four course meal (pickled honey mushrooms, anyone?) and free parking. The brunch at the SoHo Metropolitan Hotel’s Senses Cafe is a little less expensive, at $45 a person. The bakery is open until 5 p.m.
If you’re sick of tryptophan-laden poultry and Santa didn’t leave cash in your stocking this year, the Beaver Café at 1192 Queen St.West is serving brunch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.-ish and drinks when it reopens at night. The Corner Café at the Drake Hotel is also open for light nibbles also from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. In the mood for all-you-can-eat pancakes? Go to the Golden Griddle in Leaside. Better yet, Fran’s is open 24/7/365. Or opt for the traditional Jewish Christmas meal — dim sum! Toronto Life guarantees these Chinese eateries will be open today.
Movies at the Cinema (or on YouTube)
Opening today in Toronto are Dreamgirls at practically every movie theatre in the city for some unfathomable reason, deliciously wicked Notes on a Scandal, and Alfonso Cuarón’s Children of Men. The SF thriller has a loose connection to the immaculate conception (movie involves a precious pregnant woman who may help save the human race with her reproductive power), so it’s somewhat Christmasy. If your thoughts today are running more along the lines of “die, Christmas, die”, then you might want to catch the premiere of Black Christmas instead.
Then again, why leave the comfort of your flannel PJs and hot chocolate on Christmas morning when you have the internet at your fingertips? Watch A Charlie Brown Christmas or see how long you can stand the Christmas song by Hampton and the Hampsters before your floor is covered with the smashed ceramic of your mug. If CityTV’s LOG isn’t doing it for you, watch the version brought to you by Torontoist and YouTube (best viewed full screen). Flannel PJs + hot chocolate + LCD fireplace = holiday happiness.
‘Tis the Season of Self-Indulgence
Consumer culture claims ’tis the season of receiving first and giving second, so be selfish and treat yourself to a day of recreation and relaxation. After sleeping in past noon, dig out your ice skates. The Nathan Phillips Square rink, the Harbourfront rink, and Ryerson University’s Lake Devo are available for ice skating, among other outdoor rinks.
Finish the day with your own walking tour of the Cavalcade of Lights. Use the twenty bucks you saved from not taking a bus tour for drinks at Orphan’s Christmas at the Bovine Sex Club or at Level’s Christmas party.
Pacific Mall in Markham opens at 11 a.m., in case you woke up this morning and realized you didn’t get your cat a present. Though it can’t take you to Markham,. [Thanks to reader Dog Bone, who informed us that you can in fact get to the Pacific Mall via the TTC: take either the 43 bus from Kennedy Station or the 53 from Finch Station up to Steeles Avenue. — Ed.] A reminder that the TTC is operating on its Sunday schedule. Torontoist wishes our readers a happy Christmas and a merry Boxing Day!

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