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.
"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.