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DECEMBER 4-10, 2008

Some of us might enjoy celebrating the holidays, if only we could figure out how to do it without surrendering our hard-earned, jaded personas (the ones we think telegraph NYC pride) or feeling badly about not being in love at Christmastime.

It’s a shame to hand over the city to out-of-towners and cheesy lovebirds for the entire month of December because we can’t stand all of the schmaltzy tourist traps. Instead of gliding around an ice-skating rink, nervously holding hands on a first date, why not create your own subversive holidates? These twelve are fun even if you’re single—just grab some friends.

1 Make a holiday thriller
Grab your date, your digital camera and an iPod loaded with a silly holiday playlist, then don gaudy Christmas sweaters and head over to the Prospect Park’s Kate Wollman Rink( Crank up the tunes and take turns filming one another as you lip-synch along.

2 Get loose with Mr. Claus
Belt out naughty carols with thousands of (publicly intoxicated) Santas on December 13. The exact time and location that they will be spreading their raucous, red-velvet-clad holiday cheer is kept secret until the last minute; log onto for all of the details.

3 Get crafty
The couple that crafts together, stays together: Queens Farm Museum (73-50 Little Neck Pkwy between 34th and 37th Aves, Floral Park, Queens; 718-347-3276, wreath-making workshops on December 13 at 10am, noon and 2pm for just $15. Wearing your creations around your necks like Flavor Flav, hit up the adorable new second floor café at Dylan’s Candy Bar (1011 Third Ave at 60th St; 646-735-0078, for a mug of real Belgian hot chocolate.

4 Pretend you’re on display
Rent St. Nick suits at Abracadabra (19 W 21st St between Fifth and Sixth Aves; 212-627-5194, or buy Slutty Mrs. Claus or Frosty the Snow Slut costumes at Ricky’s (various locations throughout the city, Then take a stroll down Fifth Avenue and try to pantomime a better spectacle than Simon Doonan’s famous windows at Barneys. If you’re with a group of friends, have one of them take photos of the escapade—they’ll make a perfect Christmas card.

5 Bask in soft light
Low lighting is better than any zit cream, so opt for restaurants with working fireplaces, Christmas trees or, at the very least, strings of tiny lights. Snuggle up at one of the following: the 21 Club (21 W 52nd St between Fifth and Sixth Aves; 212-582-7200,,Employees Only (510 Hudson St between Christopher and W 10th Sts; 212-242-3021, or Rolf’s (281 Third Ave at 21st St, 212-473-8718).

6 Make the Julia Allison special 
Okay, it’s not a date for you, but a little bit of charity for a lonely friend. You’ll need: a small tree (from any street vendor), two big boxes of condoms and some wire ornament hangers. Punch a wire hanger through the top edge of the condom wrapper (try to avoid the actual condom) and hang the condoms on the branches like ornaments. Then wrap up a few sex toys from Babeland (various locations throughout the city, and deliver to a friend in sexual need along with a card that reads MERRY FUCKING CHRISTMAS!

7 Sit on Santa’s lap
South Street Seaport has a truly impressive tree—it’s also where you can get your photo taken with “the city’s most acclaimed Santa.” While there, be sure to check out one of the best caroling performances in the city, courtesy of the Big Apple Chorus. Catch a 45-minute performance at the Seaport from now until Dec 24, Fri 6 at 7pm; Sat, Sun 3, 4pm(

8 Rock out
The Rockettes truly are a Christmas miracle, so make like a tourist and head to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. After the show, initiate a contest with your date to see who can kick the highest. Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Sixth Ave at 50th St;

9 Hum along with Bing
It’s not December until Bing Crosby croons “White Christmas.” To hear the holiday classic live, head to the Broadway adaptation of the Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. Now through Jan 4 at the Marquis Theatre, 211 W 45th St between Broadway and Eighth Ave(

10 Join a sing-along
Watch the professionals perform Handel’s Messiah (Dec 12 at 8pm) at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall (10 Lincoln Center Plaza at 65th St; 212-875-5030, , or if you’re brave and talented, join in the fun on Dec 16, when the venue’s 3,000-person audience doubles as the chorus.

11 Find your sea legs
Sick of all the greenery? Take to the East River and enjoy dinner aboard the Spirit of New York (62 Chelsea Piers between 20th and 21st Sts; 866-483-3866, In addition to its regular schedule, the ship is offering special holiday cruises on Wednesday 10 and December 18 from 7 to 9pm ($38.90 per person).

12 Enjoy the classics
The Russian Tea Room (150 W 57th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves; 212-581-7100,, which happens to be decorated red and green all year round, feels especially festive during the holidays. With its pretheater dinner special ($55 for three courses), The Tea Room is the perfect prelude to The Nutcracker (20 Lincoln Center Plaza at 65th St; 212-870-5570,

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