Well, I did X-giving on my own for the first time ever ('ever' in my case being quite awhile). THANKS to the responders to my post who helped me to put the holiday in perspective! It was an incremental "feast" which started at lunch in a Korean restaurant not far from Penn Station (it was pouring and I'm not kidding). Cho Dang Gol, I think was the name, very pleasant staff, warm and welcoming. I had a sizzling & spicy dish with baby octopus and tofu. Nice.
Dinner was at Molyvos, non-traditional to be sure, but a place that I like very much. And I intended that it be as far from traditional as possible. Actually, I had octopus again (the appetizer is a great favorite of mine and was wonderful), and moussaka for dinner (it was okay). But I was charmingly treated by the staff and was glad that I was there. Went to "The Mystery of Irma Vep" thereafter--one wacky show, but, still, very fun.
But the best part was the day after. I went downtown for lunch to Evergreen Shanghai on Mott St. Reviewed by Eric Asimov, I dared myself to have the 'drunken' crabs he had enjoyed. Raw they were, oh, gack. But still. And they were marvelous! Messy finger food to be sure, full of soy sauce, ginger, hot pepper...just wonderful. Bit into one szechuan pepper and drank down almost a whole pot of scalding tea to offset the effect. Mmmm. My waiter was charming and solicitous, but halfway through the meal he started shouting with someone in the doorway, back and forth, towels were thrown (narrowly missing me at one point). Then he grabbed his jacket and stormed out. And I just sat there, soy dripping up my elbows, sucking and slurping each of my fingertips. I love a bit of cabaret!
So, it CAN be done. One holiday down, one to go. Any suggestions for the next?