Well, this answers a question for me. Dan Drezner describes the standard Jewish ritual for Christmas day:
Chinese food and a movie. Perfectly pleasant rituals, made special by the fact that the Gentiles are all at home or at church….
I don’t know when it became a thing for Christian families to also go see a movie on the day commemorating the birth of Jesus, but personal experience tells me this is a relatively recent phenomenon — i.e., the past 15 years or so. All I know is that what used to be a pleasant movie-going experience is now extremely crowded.
Several years ago I naively decided that it might be nice to see a movie on Christmas. I figured the crowds would be really light and we could just slip right in. Needless to say, I was disabused of this notion quickly, and headed for home just as fast as my car would take me. At the time, I wondered what was going on. Had things changed? Was I just unaware that Christmas had always been a big movie day? Or what?
I guess it’s the former. There really was a golden era when Christmas movies were uncrowded, but it disappeared before I even knew it existed. Sic transit etc.