Thursday, December 24, 2009

Tradition! Tradition!

It is a family tradition.

Every year, in November or even as early as October, the debate begins.

What movie should we see on Christmas?

You see, as Jews, we don't have a tree or stockings hung by the chimney with care. Our holiday -- Hanukkah -- is a movable feast that changes dates every year because it is based on the Jewish calendar of 28-day months, with an occasional leap month thrown in for good measure.

In fact, the joke is that Jews NEVER know when Hanukkah is going to be in a given year until a Christian friend asks us the question and we have to go look it up.

Many years, like this one, Hanukkah is well over before Christmas arrives, leaving us with the question of "What do we do with our day off?"

And so ... we go to the movies.

As a family.

It makes my heart fill with joy to listen to my kids debate the topic of which movie we will see. Even the older boys -- and their significant others -- voice heated opinions.

And what it means to me is that this family tradition of all of us gathering on Christmas morning for a cinematic treat is important to ALL of us.

This year, the Roo-girl was victorious in her lobbying for "Sherlock Holmes" (Drama King was pushing for "Alvin and the Chipmunks: the Squeakquel," and yes, I'm serious!). So tomorrow when little boys and girls everywhere are dancing with the joy of new toys, we will be watching Robert Downey Jr. and eating popcorn out of buckets bigger than your head.

It makes us happy.

What ALSO makes me happy was to listen to Roo talk to her friends as I drove them home from their tumbling class on Wednesday night.

"Don't you feel bad when all of us are celebrating?" one of the girls asked her.

"Yeah, don't you feel like you are missing out?" another chimed in.

Roo laughed.

"Oh, no!!" she exclaimed. "We have great traditions for Christmas Day. We go to the movies as a family, and then we go to my grandparents' for dinner."

"Oh, so you have your own special celebration then," the first girl said.

"Yes," answered the Roo. "I love Christmas!"

And my Jewish mommy heart was proud and glad.

So to all my friends, may you receive nothing but joy from your holiday traditions -- whatever they may be.

Merry Christmas!


Tara R. said...

Roo is a very cool kid! I have to applaud her movie choice. I want to go see Sherlock Holmes too.

Enjoy the day and your family!

LceeL said...

The more I hear about Roo the more I love her. She would make ANY parent proud. Happy Holidays, Janet. To you and all of yours.

songbird's crazy world said...

Guess which movie I'm planning to see tomorrow? LOL Janet, I think we are living parallel lives!

Suzanne said...

As a Christian, when my Dad was still with us, that was our Christmas Eve tradition.

I'm so glad you have a family day tomorrow! Enjoy!

feefifoto said...

Oh, I'd rather watch Robert Downey Jr. than do just about anything else.

Janet said...

Since we had our Christmas dinner for lunch, we very often went to the movies on Christmas. These days we're just too tired to do anything on Christmas Day.

Jenni said...

Aw, this was so sweet, Janet! I never thought of Jewish kids feeling left out, though. You have Hannukah. It's the Jehovah's Witness kids I always wondered about, though I'm sure they do special unholiday things with their families, too. Danny always scoffs at tradition, but I love the way it can bind a family, help form our identity, and provide continuity, reassurance, and comfort. And I think everyone has them, whether they want to call them that or not.

Your movie tradition sounds like fun. We've only done a movie on Christmas a few times and it seems the theaters are always super packed. Yesterday we went because Danny's sister had a movie she wanted us all to see together. The nicer, closer theater was sold out of most of the movies showing around that time, so we had to jog on over to another theater. Danny and the kids and I would have chosen Sherlock Holmes, but we were all loved The Blind Side. It's really a beautiful, heartwarming movie.

Joyce-Anne said...

If I wasn't singing all day Christmas, I'd be at the movies after dinner too! :) I'm glad Roo enjoys hers.

Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo said...

Sounds like your family would have had a better day than most anyway.

And we would have seen Zombieland. ;)

Karen said...

I love that you have a Christmas tradition! In reality, I think your family captures the essence of Christmas better than those families who celebrate the holiday. It's about family, and togetherness, and being happy. Can I join you guys next year?

The Duchess of Wessex said...

Man! That's a great girl you have there!

We never used to go to movies on Christmas - but after the boys got too old, (and jaded) to be fascinated by their toys all day and up until bed time, we began making a movie part of our Christmas day. Since our Ranger couldn't come home for Christmas this year, I was even more ready to get out of the house and have my mind occupied by something other than the fact that I was missing him. So we went to see Sherlock Holmes too!

Last night, my husband and I saw It's Complicated and it was FANTASTIC!

Much love to you!

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