While many are busy stuffing their stockings, decking their halls and kissing under the mistletoe; others can still enjoy Christmas in their own special way. Whether you’re Jewish, Muslim, or just don’t celebrate Christmas on the 25th, then consider making the most of the big day with these four Jewish Christmas traditions.
1) Eating Chinese Food
Chinese food has become an annual tradition for many Jewish families on December 25th. A lot of Chinese restaurants are open on Christmas day, and some even offer certified kosher christmas specials to cater to the dietary restrictions of their clientele.
2) Watch a movie
Since so many people are opening gifts, going to church or scoffing down a Christmas dinner, the movie theaters are always near-empty. Some theaters may be closed but many will be open, especially in the afternoon. So this Christmas why not go to your own private screening of The Force Awakens.
3) Throw a Matzah Ball
In some places, inventive Jewish singles have started throwing “Matzah Balls” (referring to the name of a traditional Jewish staple: Matzah Ball Soup) for singles to meet, dance and celebrate. Of course you don’t have to be single or Jewish to throw a good Matzah Ball. Take the opportunity to get together with friends and family, share a meal and have a party – after all a stat holiday is always reason to celebrate!
4) Go to Work
Jewish people, and other non-Christians, often volunteer to work on December 25th. This is especially popular in emergency services like the police department, hospitals or fire departments where staff are needed 24/7 regardless of holidays. Working on Christmas has its perks; you’ll get another day off later in the year when things aren’t closed and you’ll be able to help out your co-workers who want to be home with their families. In Mexico City a program called “Project Brotherhood” has even started to match Christians that want Christmas off with Jewish people willing to cover them for a day.
What originally started as a joke on the American sitcom ‘Seinfeld’ has turned into an actual secular holiday on the 23rd of December (that’s today). It starts with an ‘Airing of Grievances’ during the dinner where everyone takes turns explaining how the others have disappointed them over the last 12 months. ‘Feats of Strength’ take place after the meal, which consists of wrestling until the host is pinned. Other traditions include the classic ‘Festivus Pole’ and, if you’re lucky, a bonafide ‘Festivus Miracle’!
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