FALMOUTH – In the afternoon of Christmas Eve, Kim Wu, the owner of Golden Sails Chinese Restaurant, admitted to only sleeping three hours the night before in preparation for the Christmas Eve rush.
Standing in front lobby of her restaurant, Wu said, “Christmas Eve is the second busiest day of the year, other than New Year’s Eve.”
That sentiment was echoed by Linda Yuen, manager of the Double Dragon Inn in Orleans, and by Tiffany Chu, owner of Way Ho Restaurant in Buzzards Bay.
“This whole week is busy,” said Yuen. “Today will be crazy. From now through the New Year is very busy.”
While many families gather around the tree or the television, or attend house parties, the tradition of going to a Chinese restaurant is apparently quite strong.
“People make this a tradition in their family,” said Yuen.
Wu agreed. “It’s an American tradition, but I think it’s only in Massachusetts,” said Wu. She theorized it’s simply because “a lot of American restaurants close. I think that’s why we are so crowded.”
Chu offered a theory that, “Everyone cooks on Christmas. No one wants to cook on Christmas Eve.”
Whatever the reason, Chu said, of Christmas Eve at Way Ho, “It’s crazy. You can barely get in the door sometimes.”
And it’s not just people trying to get a seat. More than half of the Christmas Eve business at all three restaurants is expected to be take out. By 2 PM at Way Ho, said Chu, there were 60 pre-orders for takeout.
So Merry Christmas, however you celebrate – with a cookie or a fortune cookie.
As she prepared for the night, Wu offered her one wish for Christmas. “That everyone be healthy and happy. Healthy is the most important.”
— Brian Tarcy