It sounds like Brianne might be the perfect guest for Christmas Day at our house. Or pretty much any other Jewish family in the Western World.
While you're opening gifts under the tree, attending Church services, or just lingering over a big pancake breakfast with the whole family dressed in matching red flannel PJs and fluffy red bathrobes, did you ever wonder what your Jewish neighbors are doing?
I don't know the history of the tradition but it's been very longstanding and seems to be similar all over at least North America. Jews go to the movies and then go out to dinner for Chinese food. We tend to attend the biggest blockbuster movie that opens on Christmas Day. In our family we discuss which movie we're going to see for weeks in advance. My kids have already suggested what movies they would like to see....several times. As Christmas grows closer, the discussions will heat up. Everyone has an opinion and they don't often match.
In our town we have several movie theatres, but we tend to always end up at the same one. It is truely amazing to see everyone we know from synagogue, school, and just about town. All the Jews are out in force, watching movies and then packing the Chinese restaurants. This is the only night of the year where a reservation is a necessity in the Chinese restaurants. If you don't have one, you might have to wait up to 2 hours for a seat. And people get very testy waiting in line for so long.
Some people do go north for skiing. It's supposed to be the only day of the year without long lift lines. But in New England, where I live, often there is no snow base at Christmas time, so that might not be a plan that works well. I did it once in Colorado, but it wasn't the same. The best part of Christmas is the movie and then dinner at one of the many Kosher Chinese restaurants we have in town. There's a comraderie and a feeling of belonging when your community is out in force to see the latest Harry Potter film before trooping off for General Tsao's Chicken, exra spicy!
Where the holiday season never ends. From social customs to religious rituals to high culture, we spread good cheer and seasons greetings daily.
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