1. You don’t wake up to a Christmas tree–you wake up to bagels and a prolonged discussion about whether the family should consider going to a new bagel place because the lox aren’t sliced thin enough. “This is the third time!” your dad pines, clearly rattled.
2. Someone in the family suggests doing something other than going to the movies + going out for chinese food. Everyone else in the family pauses for a second, only to simultaneously burst out laughing over the ridiculousness of that notion.
3. A minorly heated debate about what movie you’re gonna see. Below are the movie selections for this year, and the types of Jews who will vouch for each respective movie:
- Anchorman 2: Frat boy attending Wisconsin University, Dad trying to stay hip and relevant, 20-something males and females who sorta wish it was still 2004.
- American Hustle: Jewish kid who is trying to break into the biz and eventually “do his/her own stuff,” and thus is good at repeatedly saying the name David O. Russell.
- The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty: Families who want something inspiring and uplifting, and want to avoid as much awkwardness as possible in terms of vulgar content while still being sophisticated.
- Wolf Of Wall Street: Jews in finance, and/or Jews who are very liberal and wish to have a smug smile about the ethical failures of Wall Street after watching with their finance friends and family.
Note: Generally, the cultured Jew of the family (the one who’s embarking on a “creative” career and is thus quietly pitied by everyone else) will have the most pull here, as this is for some reason their domain. Last year, cultured Jews predominantly went for Silver Linings Playbook.
4. Listen to Christmas music on the car ride to the movie theater, because it’s Christmas.
5. Arrive at the movie theater, and see people like “The Goldsteins,” and “The Schapiros;” families you haven’t really seen since the bar-mitzvah years. They’re quick to say that “the kids are doing well,” and that Matthew is enjoying law school–“working hard, but liking it.” He’s spending Christmas at his girlfriend’s, and it’s getting pretty serious.
6. Since the Goldsteins are one of those families who have always been in the know about Synagogue gossip, they inform you that the congregation isn’t really getting along with the new Rabbi.
7. Judging by their tone, it appears that the Goldsteins have a clear agenda regarding this development and are doing virtually nothing to mask their disdain for the new rabbi.
8. Watch the movie. Make fun of your dad for falling asleep.
9. Your parents ask if you know of any other families planning on eating at the chinese place. A quick instagram scan shows that Molly Stein is currently enjoying a sierra-toned eggdrop soup.
10. You tell your parents you have no idea who’s gonna be there–they’ve loved Molly Stein since you guys were in JCC playgroup together, and spent nearly all of your high school years trying to get you to date her. Adding any sort of hype here would definitely be pretty dangerous.
11. Walk in, and your Mom immediately points out that Molly Stein is here. She’s really excited, and you have to talk to Molly Stein.
12. You’ve realized that between the years of 2009-2013, Molly has transformed nicely from a full-on JAP to a hipstery JAP. She’s currently talking to your mom about some cool new shop that sells cake pops.
13. You eat Chinese food, and more Jewish acquaintances roll in. You realize that your parents are just as stymied by the “do I get up to say hi, greet as I go out, or spend 45 minutes mutually avoiding eye contact?” game as you are.
14. You leave the restaurant, and your mom spends the majority of the car ride home talking about Molly Stein. You wonder if her opinion of Molly Stein would change if she knew what went on at the music festivals she frequents nowadays.
15. Since one of your siblings is leaving tomorrow, your family insists that you do one more family activity. What starts as trying to watch an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm turns into a Larry David-esque sequence about not being able to access Netflix, and having some weird snafus with the cool, but pathetically ineffective universal remote. Your dad refuses to acknowledge that this was a terrible purchase.
16. A Facebook notification. It’s a late invite to Molly Stein’s birthday party, which is going down in a few days time. The Facebook event includes the words “doe,” “ratchet,” and the lyrics to Lorde’s second most popular song.
17. You briefly wonder what Molly’s intentions are. Then you remember that she also has Jewish parents.
18. You resolve to “attend” on Facebook but ultimately not show. It’s the perfect gesture, and she’ll be incredibly flattered. Both of you find this terrifying.