Happy holidays! I have a good feeling about 2023. The December transition into the new year is always exciting, not to mention the sparkly decorations and holiday cheer. This week, there are festive events in Boston aplenty. We’ve picked a few holiday events to help you narrow down your plans as you celebrate Christmas and the New Year. We’ll be taking the next week off from recommendations, but wish you a restful and warm holiday. See you in 2023!
Thursday, Dec. 22
The eight-day Jewish festival of lights is underway. To celebrate, the Chabad of Downtown Boston will host the lighting of a menorah that stands nine feet tall this evening. Gov. Baker will light the menorah, and the Chabad will have treats and refreshments available. Stick around afterward for live music and family-friendly outdoor activities.
Saturday, Dec. 24
Jazz pianist Billy Duffy has performed all over the U.S. and Europe. You can catch him this Christmas Eve at The Mad Monkfish. Duffy is known for his supportive style, and you might have seen him accompanying local singer-songwriters throughout the Northeast. Duffy and his band will play two shows on Saturday evening, at 7:00 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. If you’re not able to attend in person, the Monkfish will livestream the shows on its Facebook page.
Through Friday, Dec. 23
Charles Dickens’ world-famous play, “A Christmas Carol,” has been reimagined countless times since its publishing in 1843. Somehow, it never gets old. Head to the Hanover Theatre in Worcester for a production of the timeless play. In this version, Sriram Emani plays Bob Cratchit, and a Sanskrit mantra has been added to the fold. You can expect the classic spirit of the play alongside newer additions, like special effects and spectacular flying stunts.
Through Saturday, Dec. 24
The Boston Symphony Orchestra presents its annual celebration: Holiday Pops. The orchestra will perform festive favorites from around the world. This year you can roll your evening plans into one—if you’re seated at the orchestra level of Symphony Hall, you can order food and drinks to enjoy while you watch the show. The Pops are also offering sensory-friendly performances and kid-friendly matinees.
Through Wednesday, Dec. 28
For over 50 years, the Cambridge Revels have performed themed musical productions celebrating the holiday season. This year, the group performs its most diverse show yet. Songs and dances honoring Christian, pagan, Jewish and Latin American cultures tell a story of Christmas Eve on Ellis Island in 1924. Live Revels performances will be staged for the next week, and if you miss out or want to watch from the comfort of home, virtual on-demand viewing is available Dec. 29-Jan. 8. [Read critic Iris Fanger’s review of “The Midwinter Revels.”]