Breaking with Tradition

I saw Life of Pi tonight. It’s a beautiful movie. It wasn’t the highlight of my night, though. What was? Seeing the trailer for Les Miserables. I cannot wait! It opens December 25th. Merry Christmas to me! Maybe.

I’m not what you call a moviegoer. Not by a long shot. But, every once in a while I get worked up about a movie and I just HAVE to see it on opening day! (Harry Potter and The Passion of the Christ, for example.) A Christmas Day opening is a little problematic, though. Damn kid. Damn husband. Damn Family. It’s not like I can sneak out of the house on Christmas Day. My absence would not go unnoticed.

My Christmas day activities are, mostly, kitchen and cleaning-related. If you like and in keeping with the movie theme, you may want to think of me as a slightly better dressed Dobby, the house elf. I make breakfast, which includes dragging out the giant electric griddle so that two pounds of Scottish sausage can be fried up in one fell swoop. (And eggs for those who have not developed a severe case of lactose intolerance, like yours truly!) Then I have to clean up wrapping paper and gift bags. (Checking carefully for hidden gift cards and cash before disposing of them— keeping in mind the great “going through the garbage debacle of 2008”!). After everyone has had time to digest the Scottish sausage sandwiches, it’s time for dessert— Belgian waffles and ice cream. Then I get to clean the kitchen and scavenge the living room floor for the errant ribbon on which the cat will surely choke.

Now, it’s time to relax. For everyone else. They sit around playing with their new toys, watching television, and generally relaxing, while the clean-up committee organizes everyone’s gifts/bags/boxes and puts them away— to make room for the next meal.

For this I jump from Scotland and Belgium over to Italy. Our Christmas is nothing if it’s not an international culinary journey. So, shortly after cleaning up brunch, I work on the cold antipasto and the lasagna. Over the years I’ve considered adding French toast and Danish to this extravaganza, but that would just be ridiculous (as if what I usually make is normal).

When I first brought up the possibility of breaking with tradition this year, my husband saw fit to remind me that we’re not Jewish. We aren’t really anything, but I guess his reason was as good as my daughter’s. Hers being that she works at the movie theater. Again, so what? I don’t expect they’ll see her there and press her into service. My mother (who speaks for my father in these matters) protested that the cost of getting Chinese food for so many people would be outrageous. Yeah. Because all the food I usually cook doesn’t cost a small fortune! My sisters haven’t weighed in yet, but I expect they’ll concoct their own crazy reasons for being against my plan.

I have been trying to make the argument that a cinematic version of a French book with a multinational cast followed by some Chinese take-out fits right in with our diverse traditions. So far, as you can see, no one’s buying it. This house elf is hoping for a Christmas miracle!

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13 thoughts on “Breaking with Tradition

  1. No matter what you do, I’m sure it will be a very meowy christmas!


  2. wedelmom says:

    Loved the book “Life of Pi” but haven’t seen the movie yet. I’m always leery of movies made from books because they usually make me mad. (I’m a purest – stick to the book people!)
    Funny how when we try to change up holiday “traditions” – particularly the ones which involve mom slaving while everyone else relaxes – it is a BIG DEAL! I’m rooting for you. Go see Les Miz!


    • javaj240 says:

      The movie is good— visually stunning! It captured the spirit of the book pretty well, I thought.

      Yes— altering traditions that create more work for us….not a bad thing, is it?

      I have a feeling I’ll get to the movie that day. I have my ways, LOL!


  3. Your Christmas Day menu is making me hungry. I’m also so psyched to see Les Mis. I saw it three times on Broadway!


    • javaj240 says:

      I’ve seen it several times on Broadway myself. I cannot wait to see it! Whether I see it on Christmas Day remains to be seen!


  4. javaj240 says:

    I think you would like the book!

    I would just need some hair gel and elf shoes to really resemble “The Grinch”. And some antlers for the cat. (Of course!)


  5. ethelthedean says:

    I’ve heard such good things about Life of Pi. I still don’t know why I haven’t read the books, so maybe that will be my Christmas assignment this year. Haha, I totally have this amazing image of you sneaking out on Christmas morning a la Grinch (with the music playing and everything…)


  6. Rick says:

    Going to the movies is a great way to spend Christmas Day. Especially if it’s a good shoot’em up.


  7. javaj240 says:

    A Chinese movie with subtitles! I wouldn’t dare.


  8. We always go to the movies on Christmas Day. I laugh at this because one year we went to see a Chinese movie with subtitles. The kids were like 10, 12 and 14. It wasn’t a very big hit LOL.


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