For just about everyone, the holiday season is a stressful one.
If you’re local, you have family events that can include politics to avoid, presents to buy, and extended family member names to remember.
If you’re far from home, the holidays can be lonely and spending the day avoiding politics with someone else’s family isn’t terribly appealing.
But, New Orleans.
In other cities, being in these situations can make you feel like you’re on an island. Suddenly you find yourself scrambling to text whoever you think might be in town, meeting up at a bar with someone you didn’t fully dislike in high school so you can have some sort of escape and a moment to breathe.
But New Orleans. The beautiful thing about New Orleans is that the people of this city always have your back. Specifically your bar owners and bartenders.
Starting a few weeks before Christmas Day, as the city turns up the holiday cheer, you can find bars around town hosting decorating parties. Hang stockings, put up tinsel, decorate trees with bar regulars and wandering tourists while listening to Christmas tunes by local musicians, old and new. There’s always plenty to drink long as you pay (and tip your bartenders!).
How New Orleans does it
When Christmas Day actually arrives, bars here are open. We’re not just talking about the 24/7/365 bars, but ones you might expect to be closed.
Quite honestly, maybe even some bars that expected to be closed themselves.
Starting time might be later so that bartenders can spend some quality time with their families or just get a little extra rest from hustling so hard. But, wandering through the city, you’ll find that as the day goes on, more and more people start emerging from their homes and finding their way into the streets.
Christmas Day in a bar in New Orleans can include a potluck of whatever you have leftover from earlier, gift exchanges, Secret Santas, costume competitions (because, New Orleans), Christmas movie showings, but definitely mirth and merriment.
Who’s open? Who knows?!
If you’re in town for Christmas this year and curious what a specific bar will be up to on that day, it’s best to stop in ahead of time or call and ask. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, just take a post-celebration stroll and see where you end up.
Christmas Day in New Orleans, just like every other day in New Orleans, is a special one. Hope to see you out there.
Written by: Emily Richmond
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