The B-Side

This gift under the tree is FREE 🎄

Plus: 🩰 “The Slutcracker” is back!

The B-Side
Welcome to The B-Side, the daily dose of news you actually want to hear. Katie Cole

Happy Friday, Boston!

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👀 What’s on tap today:

  • The best places to work
  • Throwing out junk fees
  • 31 nights of light

Up first…


What’s free under the tree

Image: Erin Clark/Globe Staff. Illustration: Gia Orsino.

Maybe it’s because I just set up my Christmas tree … or maybe it’s because I’ve been listening to Mariah Carey since Nov. 1, either way I am waist deep in holiday spirit. But after Black Friday, my wallet is not. 


Lucky for us, December is the ultimate month for holiday freebies. Here’s what’s on deck:

🎄 Enjoy another round of holiday lights. They just keep comin’! The Seaport’s Tree lights up tonight as part of the Light Up Seaport event, complete with live music and aerial performances; the Fenway tree lighting and Luminary walk, where admission to ice skate at The Rink will also be free, is set for Dec. 6; on Dec. 8, you can board the USS Constitution for its annual tree lighting; and you can head back to the Seaport on Dec. 10 for its annual Menorah lighting, too.

🧊 Or, level up your holiday lights with an ice sculpture stroll at Assembly Row. Nine sculptures of all shapes and sizes will deck out the shopping destination on Dec. 7. There will be holiday-themed giveaways and freebies, plus, if you turn in your holiday map of the sculptures once you’re done, you’ll get a free Christmas ornament. 

☃️ Peruse a holiday fair. Let’s be honest, at least 80% of the fun of going to a holiday market is window shopping. Throw in a few free samples and we’re at 100%. You can take a stroll (and start writing your holiday wishlist) around several holiday fairs in the city this month, including: Cambridge Arts Holiday MarketBrighton Bazaar’s Holiday BazaarThe Somerville Flea’s Holiday Markets, or the Boston Women’s Markets.


📚 Or, go shopping for real without spending a dime. A cheap way to grab a gift for a pal (or yourself) is at Trident’s Holiday Book Swap on Dec. 21. All you have to do is show up with a wrapped book of your choice to swap with another guest. All genres are welcome, but come prepared to talk about what you bring since everyone will discuss their blind book picks.

🍿 Curl up with a classic holiday movie. The best way to spread Christmas cheer is to go to Garage B at the Charles River Speedway Dec. 13 for their showing of “ELF”(or something like that). Bonus: The popcorn and candy bar will be free, too! Or get into a regular routine with Moxy Bar’s Merry Movies Night series on the rooftop where you can catch Christmas flicks like “Home Alone” and “The Grinch.” 

🛷 Hit the slopes without leaving the city … or skis. Yep, we’re talking about sledding. And no, you are never too old. Last year, created this stacked guide to the best places to sled in the city. Highlights include: Jamaica Pond Park in JP, Walsh Playground in Dorchester, and Millennium Park in West Roxbury. Pray to the snow gods for this one!


A hidden fortune with your name on it (literally)

🎥 Who says treasure hunts are just for the big screen? Thanks to the Massachusetts State Treasury, you can discover your very own loot of unclaimed riches — no clues or map necessary. Simply search your name online (it takes under a minute) to see if you are eligible for a share of over $3 billion in unclaimed property. With 1 in ten citizens already discovering unclaimed property with the Massachusetts State Treasury — totaling a whopping $787 million in the past five years — there’s a chance you may be the lucky one to strike gold. See for yourself.


Quick & dirty headlines


Image: Images from Adobe Stock; Photo Illustration by Maura Intemann/Globe Staff. Illustration: Gia Orsino.

💼 The best places to work in Mass. just dropped. We all know that there’s more to a great job than the job itself, and the companies on the Globe’s annual “top places to work” list got the memo. The proof is in the pudding (or, in some cases, the PTO): One employee at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals estimates she referred eight friends who all now work there, Cell Signaling Technology offers a 10k reimbursement for employees to buy an EV, and software company Progress gives an employee the opportunity to WFH … on a boatCheck out who made the list here.

💸 What’s a “processing fee” anyway? Attorney General Andrea Campbell introduced a new set of regulations she’s hoping will limit “junk fees” in Mass., a.k.a., those unwelcome $30 “resort fees” or “convenience fees” you’re surprised with right before checkout. The regulations would tackle the problem in a numberof ways, namely by making companies show the “true” price of their products upfront, including any and all additional fees, plus making it easier for customers to cancel subscriptions and trials. If you’ve got something to say on this, you can send your comments to the AG’s office here.


🐶 As if human sick season wasn’t bad enough … There’s now a mystery dog illness going around Mass. First thing’s first: It’s not serious, so don’t panic. The mystery illness is similar to kennel cough and symptoms tend to be mild. Cases for the illness were initially popping up in Oregon, but have since spread to more than 12 states, including Mass. The overall sentiment among vets is not to panic, but if you want to be extra careful, avoiding dog parks, boarding kennels, and sharing water bowls is a good place to start.

🩰 “The Slutcracker” kicks off tonight. “The Nutcracker” is undeniably lovely. But do you ever find yourself sort of … dozing off by the end? Well, we can guarantee there will be no dozing in “The Slutcracker,” a sexy, fun, burlesque twist on the classic ballet (think: instead of a little girl receiving a doll, Clara receives a vibrator). The show opens tonight for its month-long run at the Somerville Theatre. You can get tickets here, and on select weekend dates, those tickets will get you access to their afterparty (which seems like a ball), too.


Support local innovators

B-Side is a proud sponsor of Innovation Studio’s upcoming Deck the Hall Event on Friday, Dec. 8 at District Hall in the Seaport. The event kicks off at 5 p.m. with a free networking session, followed by a ticketed holiday marketplace showcasing local innovators at 6 p.m. Tickets are $20 and include a drink and raffle ticket. Reserve your spot now to meet and support local innovators!


Weekend plans


Image: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File.

🐝 Watch as queen Bey takes the big screen. “Renaissance: A Film By Beyonce” comes out TODAY. So, obviously, get your tickets. Also: Join Boston While Black at Assembly Row AMC Theater 4 for their opening night event.

🎨 Make some art in an art museum. Boston College’s McMullen Museum invites the public to join in on their afternoon of holiday festivities on Saturday, including bites and sips, arts and crafts, and games.

🍺 Respond to the lingering temptation to go back to school. Except Lamplighter’s Beer School, in session Saturday, is only $25! Just don’t include beer school on your resume. 

😂 Get some laughs in. Hot & Funny Comedians are stopping at Piano Craft Gallery on Saturday, and a local ensemble of comedians will present Seven Minutes in Heaven at The Green Room on Sunday.

🫖 Channel your inner HGTV. Take a roadtrip to Wilmington, Mass. this Saturday to get your hands on some old and rare objects at the Greater Boston Antiques Show. Dust ‘em off, flip ‘em, gift ‘em! 

—Written by Claire Nicholas


31 nights of light

Image: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images. Illustration: Gia Orsino.

For the next 31 nights, the top of the Prudential Center will light up in different colors. But why

The official name for the event is “31 nights of light,” which is an effort to spotlight 28 local non-profits and three holidays by lighting up in their colors throughout December. The non-profits they’ll be representing this year range include Canine Companions, which provides service dogs to disabled adults, children and vets, Food Rescue US: Boston, which works to divert excess food from landfills, homelessness prevention group Metro Housing Boston, and more. 


So if you’re walking by the Pru and wondering why it looks so stunning, check out the full list of charities here to see which non-profit is being highlighted.

—Written by Gia Orsino and Emily Schario

🌈 Thanks for reading! Personally, I love to see the Pru lit up in rainbow colors, like this.

💜 Special Shoutout to today’s sponsor, the Massachusetts State Treasury, for helping residents reclaim what’s rightfully their

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