A nice "Jewish Christmas"

Hubby and I teem with that Gen X kind of ironic humor that you will either find normative or irritating, depending on your perspective. Having a 70s-80s Southern suburban upbringing helps, but the last thing either one of us wants is the kind of Christmas celebration where we sit in someone’s house with an alcohol-free bev, making self-censored small talk, commenting how nice the hostess’s handpainted sweatshirt is. Even when forced to “celebrate” that way, I’d manage to creep back to the kitchen and have a cackle with a favorite aunt, and share the cleaning up. My first window into another world of Christmas celebration was the year I got a shortwave radio as a gift and listened to the BBC World Service announcers on-air drunk as skunks. I was scandalized and amused and filed that memory away.

Now that we can shape our own Christmas customs, we do. So we’re still firmly in Advent. The tree isn’t up. We’ve only played the Jim Nabors Christmas album once. We’re not burned-out like some; good, easy-going times await. (Both stollen, as I might have guessed, however, have been long devoured.)

Christmas eve and day will be suitably devout with two or three services all told. We’ll exchange gifts. Perhaps a little wintery promenade, as we like. But then what?

Jews, of course, have had to face this question as non-combatants for ages, without the joy of six hours in church as a benefit. The customary Jewish answer to the December 25 question — which I first heard of from friends in college — has to be the right idea. After the last service, Hubby and I are going to have Chinese food and watch a movie.

Several articles on this December 25 stand-by have been written; interpretations why exist too.

Up in the Cleveland Park neighborhood — across from Congregation Adas Israel — is a wonderful old-school Chinese restaurant. Eisenhower took Khrushchev there, and they have the photos up to prove it. To keep the retro theme going, there’s the Uptown Theater down the block: a classic one-big-screen movie house. That would be perfect if they play The Producers.

I just won’t see King Kong on Christmas Day.

If not, we have a back-up plan. Go to Chinatown. There are some lovely dim sum places were you can get a mean cocktail, and the new — if less authentic architecturally — Gallery Place where there’s a multiplex.

I’m quite looking forward to it, and apart from buying a few cookies and breakfast foods, my Christmas prep plans are over.

2 Replies to “A nice "Jewish Christmas"”

  1. Speaking as someone who is leaving for Charlotte to have pretty much the christmas ou described first, I have to say that Chinese food and a movie sounds good to me.

    Have a merry one,


  2. for the first time in my life (and I am of the baby boomer generation, so am not young),- I have no exact idea what I will be doing for Chirstmas.
    traditionaly its been go to my parents or a SO’s parents (or both!).
    originaly it was to go to my mothers and make her a turkey dinner — but my sister invited her away – she didnt want to leave us, but I told her we could amuse ourselves….. my SO’s family is living in Japan – and we cant yet raise the yen to go there….
    so its a stay at home Christmas! its kinda odd, got invited up north (north carolina that is) upon folks hearing we were spending Christmas alone, its odd – are two people alone??

    anyway got a few presents under the tree – some more should come in after Christmas,
    Only Partialist churches in the area, consiering driving up to Newberry or Red Hill —
    so when folks ask “what did yall do for Chirstmas?’, we can say “took a drive”

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