Xmas dinner at a restaurant

In the movie ‘The Santa Clause’, Tim Allen messes up Xmas dinner and must take his son to a restaurant. There is only a few people in the restaurant who have accidently destroyed their own Xmas dinner also.
The movie makes out that it is incredibly unusual for a family to go to a restaurant for Xmas dinner. Was this ever true? Here in Melbourne there are many restaurants that have special Xmas dinners on Dec 25th. Usually all the restaurants that are open are booked out. It has been like this for years. I do not know how many years though.

I have had Christmas lunch with my family in a restaurant on several occasions. Each time the restaurant has been full. When we’ve eaten out it’s been because that’s the most convenient option, not because we’ve “ruined” the food at home.

Most restaurants are more likely to be closed for Christmas Eve and Christmas in the U.S. However, there are exceptions (e.g., in A Christmas Story, Ralph and his family end up having Christmas dinner at a Chinese restaurant because it’s the only place in town that’s open).

For what it’s worth, my family does Thanksgiving dinner out at restaurants in recent years, usually Cuban food (in Miami). Chinese food on Christmas is a tradition, followed by a movie – but we’re Jewish, and that seems to be the thing a lot of New York/South Florida Jews do on Christmas Day.

Frankly, if only a few people were willing to go to the restaurant, it probably wouldn’t be open. A few restaurants here do stay open for Xmas dinner. Spotting a hole in a kid’s movie isn’t really detective work, though.

Well, and midwestern Atheists.

And Chinese is because Chinese restaurants are usually the only ones open on Christmas day. At least, around here.

I’m guessing the reason why the OP cited The Santa Clause (and I, in return, subsequently mentioned A Christmas Story) is because the OP is from Australia and likely has never been in the U.S. during Christmas. Thus, blink is only familiar with Christmas dining practices in the U.S. by way of American movies and TV shows.

Anyway, just from my experience from where I live, there are few restaurants open for Christmas. Employees like to have that day off and most people dine with friends and family on that day so there wouldn’t be too many customers even if they chose to stay open.

Do the restaurants have a lot of brunches and/or multi-course dinners with a wide variety of meats, potatoes, desserts, and fruits? If so, that’s a lot like what many people do for Easter in the U.S.

The restaurants at which I’ve eaten on Christmas Day have had a set menu: entrée (soup; antipasto plate; some sort of seafood dish) followed by the traditional ham/turkey/salads/roast vegetables combination, finishing up with plum pudding. Plus lots of wine/champagne.

Most of the nicer hotels here have very nice Christmas spreads. My mother and I used to go to them a lot (if we didn’t go to Florida to see relatives) and my husband and I do too. I want all the turkey and ham and dressing and cranberry sauce and a million choices for dessert, but I don’t want to have all the leftovers if I cook it. I have a hockey game this Thanksgiving, so no cooking a big dinner for me! Haven’t really thought about Christmas yet.

As others have mentioned, there are a few hotels and restaurants that have special Christmas Brunch/Dinners every year in most large cities. When I was single and lived in an apartment, my large family would come to my city on a regular rotation where I would be the official host.

We would rent out a few rooms at a B&B near downtown and then go out to eat. The restaurants were usually crowded with all sorts of people and families of different sizes. Most people were dressed up and looked like they were in their church clothes. With some places you had to reserve a certain time-frame. It was very fun, very stress free, and we got to spend more time talking and playing around rather than just cookin’ and cleanin’ (which can be fun, but we do that on all the other holidays during other years).

I was not trying to spot a hole in a ‘Kid’s’ movie. I was citing it because it seemed so odd to me. I wanted an answer to whether this was true in the USA or not. Because it is certainly not true in Australia. I have never been to the USA. I have been to about 26 countries. I have only ever spent Xmas in NZ,Australia, Cambodia and Japan