Tonight is a night of tradition. In years past, we assembled, young and old, religious and not, to observe the Jewish rituals of Christmas.
First, we ordered in Chinese food. And it wasn’t kosher in the least.
Sidebar: Many years ago, there was only over-cooked Cantonese available. Then, we were blessed with Hunan and Szechuan. And now, “Chinese food” is a term that includes the foods of all of the Asian continent.
Second, over dinner, we discussed which movie (at the local theater) we should see on Christmas day.
Sidebar: Until recently, there were no lines at the movie theaters, unless you lived in a particularly Jewish area, in which case you had to go to the movie theater in another neighborhood. Also, no computers, internet or streaming movies.
Third, we searched the TV for something other than midnight mass from Vatican City or the Yule log.
Sidebar: Remember, this was pre-cable/internet/Apple TV. Channel 9 always had a marathon of the Joe Franklin talk show — it was low-budget and he wore polyester suits and had a comb-over.
Fourth, we felt bloated and restless because, even though we didn’t need to go to a store, just the knowledge that the store might be closed caused claustrophobic reactions among those assembled.
Sidebar: It is like the anxiety-induced hunger pangs a day before the Yom Kippur fast.
Fifth, we discussed each Anti-Semite we ever knew and practiced our usual Easter refrain, “It was the Romans!”.
Sidebar: It is amazing what happens when Jews feel bloated and unable to shop. And it is never too early to sway public opinion and why wait until Lent?
There was a spring in my step as I came home — for ’twas the night before Christmas and we had tradition to uphold. Imagine my reaction to the smell of cooking — COOKING — emanating from the kitchen. Oy. Tradition unravels.
First: we ate quinoa, tofu and chicken soup. (These were options; not one concoction.)
Second: we discussed what we would watch on Netflix.
Third: we couldn’t agree on anything, so we channel-surfed THOUSANDS of channels and found nothing to watch except something about antelopes, pronghorns, and bears.
Fourth: Amazon.com. Enough said.
Fifth: Mere anti-semitism is so, well, quaint. There are crazy people with nukes out there who hate lots and lots of people, all for the same stupid reasons.
But we still practice, “It was the Romans!”
Merry Christmas to all.