What Jews Can Do on Christmas

Yes, it’s a cultural stereotype, and yes it’s true: Jews do spend Christmas Day going to Chinese restaurants and to the movies.

Most of the area Chinese restaurants — including our favorite, Chengdu 1 in Cedar Grove — are open on Christmas Day. But I advise Members of the Tribe to kick it up a notch and go for all-you-can-eat-sushi at Mikado 23 near Willowbrook Mall. AMC Loews Wayne is practically next door and showing Descendants, Sherlock Holmes, Dragon Tattoo, Tintin and more.  

Jewish families with young kids might want to check out the WinterFest carnival at the West Orange JCC from 10 to 1 on Christmas Day. $18 per kid; adults and babies are free.

Or you can reverse the tradition of the “Shabbos goy” and go volunteer in a local hospital to allow more Christians to enjoy their Christmas. Ner Tamid is rounding up volunteers to help out at Clara Maass and St. Joseph’s. More info here.

If you’re feeling super creative, make your own fortune cookies and then get a bunch of Jewish friends together to stage a reading of the comments on Dorothy Rogers’s Solstice Tree post. Please make sure to send us a video if you do.

Chag Sameach to each and every one!

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  1. is that the name of the paper bags with candles? is that Italian?

    Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah everyone.

  2. Is one Cheng Du restaurant as good as the other? Anyone been to the one in Wayne, in Willowbrook — Cheng Du 23? That’s where we’re thinking of holding our Jewish holiday dinner tomorrow but am nervous about the quality, for no reason other than a religious fear of bad Chinese food.

  3. ROC, I believe that the tradition originated in Mexico and the American southwest. The first time I witnessed it was 25 years ago in southern California, and it is a beautiful sight.

  4. @Erika – Chengdu 23 is even better than Chengdu 1. Amazingly good! It is where all of our local Chinese friends go when they want authentic Chinese food. If you like veggie dishes, make sure to try the Boiled Eggplant in Salted Egg with Peppers. Sounds strange, but it is delicious.

  5. We 3 went to a terrific Chanukkah party, in a mega-million dollar home nestled into a mountain-side, in Llwellyn Park. fantastic food, entertainment, music, top shelf “drinks”, carving stations, music, and
    just everything. Leaving, I got lost in the “Park” ~ No street signs, no lights, stone black, deer wondering about, and it’s like a lybrainth to the novice. Our son & his girlfriend came in his car and we went in mine. At one point I went right & he went left. I told my wife that he went the wrong way. Nope! I went the wrong way. Nobody to ask (well there were deer) and it got kinda spokey. Finally my wife spotted a ROAD SIGN (novel idea) and she pointed the way down the mountain, and then up a hill and then down to Park Avenue. IF I had been drinking, we’d still be driving around in “the park”

  6. @njgator and Gail, thanks for the intel on Cheng Du 23. We had a terrific meal there, and then walked across the street to the movies. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo made a good follow up to a Chinese Chanukah meal.

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