All I want for Christmas is Chinese food and a movie

Just as Santa makes his way down the chimney, some Jewish families in Chicago will mark the occasion in a different way—by being the first to see this year’s Christmas blockbuster and filling their bellies with moo goo gai pan.

Chinese food and a movie have long been a Jewish-Christmas staple outing, and according to the New York Times, the custom dates back to 1935 when restaurant owner Eng Shee Chuck brought chow mein to the Jewish Children’s Home in Newark, N.J. on Christmas Day. The likely explanation for the movies is that it probably was (and still is) one of the only places open on December 25.

If you’re looking to keep the tradition going strong, we’ve rounded up the latest family movies to see on Christmas Day, as well as some Chinese restaurants whose woks will be hot for dinner. Just remember to make reservations—often times, getting into your first-choice restaurant on Christmas Day is a Hanukkah miracle.

Family movie best bets

Chinese dinner

In the city
In the suburbs

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