It came to light during the 2010 Senate Judiciary Committee's confirmation hearings for Elena Kagan to be an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. According to The Atlantic:
During an otherwise tense series of exchanges, Senator Lindsey Graham
paused to ask Kagan where she had spent the previous Christmas. To
great laughter, she replied: “You know, like all Jews, I was probably at a
The Motley Monk doesn't know about the "all Jews" part of now-Justice Kagan's response to Senator Graham. But, the generalization does shine the light upon the American Jewish custom of eating Chinese food on Christmas Day. This custom's historical, sociological, and religious origins provide for a fascinating study of one aspect of American cultural history--and immigration--that's "grown into a national ritual that is both specifically American and characteristically Jewish."
Ed Schoenfeld, who owns the highly-rated New York City Chinese restaurant RedFarm (Zagut: food, 25/30; decor 18/30; service, 21/30), notes:
Clearly this whole thing with Chinese food and Jewish people has
evolved. There’s no question. Christmas was always a good day for
Chinese restaurants, but in recent years, it’s become the ultimate
day of business.”
Really? The article concludes:
Jewish Christmas, in many ways, could very much be seen as a
modern affirmation of faith. After all, there are few days that remind
American Jews of their Jewishness more than Christmas in the
The Motley Monk suggests taking a minute to read the article to learn more about this fascinating factoid.
Of course, it's not only American Jews who enjoy Christmas dinner at Chinese restaurants. That factoid was lionized in "The Christmas Story," when the Parker family was introduced to "Chinese turkey" for their Christmas dinner.
Let the discussion begin...
To read the article in The Atlantic, click on the following link: