Winter Blogfest: Susie Black

This post is part of Long and Short Reviews’ Winter Blogfest. Leave a comment for a chance to win an electronic format copy of Death by Sample Size.

Why Jews Eat Chinese Food on Christmas by Susie Black

​​What makes the holiday eason most special are the traditions we create and share; and in that way, make them uniquely our own. Even those of us who do not celebrate Christmas have still found ways to participate in the joy of the season. For us Jews, eating Chinese food on Christmas day has become an international tradition that started in New York in the 1930s. They say that necessity is the mother of invention. Jews looking for a special way to celebrate a day off on December 25th in afriendly place with a welcoming atmosphere featuring exotic food they didn’t normally eat were hard-pressed to find any restaurants open except those whose proprietors did not celebrate Christmas either. In most neighborhoods, Chinese restaurants were the only ones open on Christmas day. And so, as many things in life come to be, out of necessity or by process of elimination, a delightful tradition was born.

My maternal grandparents were married on December 25th and every year celebrated their anniversary by following this tradition. They in turn, passed it down to my mother who continued it when she married and had children, and passed it down to us. I cannot recall any Jew I knew who did not go out for Chinese food on Christmas day.

Chinese food was the first foreign food I was introduced to as a small child. I spent the early years of my childhood in Linden, New Jersey a bedroom community southwest of Manhattan. One particularly cold and snowy Christmas day my father was under the weather, so rather than go out to eat in a Chinese restaurant like we normally would, my mother brought in takeout Chinese food instead. We ate Chinese food often throughout the year, and my mother frequented a neighborhood Chinese take-out. We got to know the owner, a kind and generous older Chinese man who always paid me special attention. That evening, I accompanied my mother to pick up dinner. When it was our turn to order, I told the owner I didn’t want to eat his food any longer because he put worms in it. He wasn’t offended, but he asked me to show him the worms. I pointed to some translucent squiggly-looking worms in the chow mein he was about to put into a container as part of our order. He asked my mother if I could come back to the kitchen with him. She said yes. We went into the kitchen and he sat me on a stool next to him in the preparation area. Heshowed me how he cut the onions and how he cooked them. When they were done, he explained they were not worms, but the same thin onion strips he just cut that when cooked, only looked like worms to me(I was about 5 years old). When I was still not completely convinced, he gave me one to taste, and then I was sold. He and I were BFF’s after that…I always got extra fortune cookies and almond cookies.

Since this holiday tradition was such an important part of my life, I was interested to learn more. If you are the curious sort like me, click the link and read a more in-depth history of the love affair we Jews have with Chinese food.

The good news is you don’t have to be Jewish to eat Chinese food on Christmas….but it helps.

However you celebrate the holiday, may your traditions bring you and yours the joy that comes with the sense of belonging that binds us humans together.


Recent college graduate Holly Schlivnik dreams of being a writer, but fate has other plans. A family crisis throws her into an improbable situation and her life will never be the same. Determined to make her own luck when things don’t happen the way she plans, the irrepressible young woman takes a sledge hammer to the glass ceiling and shatters it to smithereens. The wise-cracking, irreverent transplanted Californian takes you on a raucous, rollicking rollercoaster ride of her hysterical adventures as a ladies’ apparel sales rep traveling in the deep South as she ends up finding herself along the way.


Named Best US Author of the Year by N. N. Lights Book Heaven, award-winning cozy mystery author Susie Black was born in the Big Apple but now calls sunny Southern California home. Like the protagonist in her Holly Swimsuit Mystery Series, Susie is a successful apparel sales executive. Susie began telling stories as soon as she learned to talk. Now she’s telling all the stories from her garment industry experiences in humorous mysteries.

She reads, writes, and speaks Spanish, albeit with an accent that sounds like Mildred from Michigan went on a Mexican vacation and is trying to fit in with the locals. Since life without pizza and ice cream as her core food groups wouldn’t be worth living, she’s a dedicated walker to keep her girlish figure. A voracious reader, she’s also an avid stamp collector. Susie lives with a highly intelligent man and has one incredibly brainy but smart-aleck adult son who inexplicably blames his sarcasm on an inherited genetic defect.

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LASR Anniversary Scavenger Hunt: Death by Sample Size by Susie Black

Thanks for joining us on our 14th anniversary scavenger hunt! There are two ways to enter to win and it’s easy to play– first read the blurb below, then answer the question on the first Rafflecopter. You might win a $100 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC (along with other prizes). Follow and visit authors’ social media pages on the second Rafflecopter and you’re entered to win another $100 Amazon/BN GC (along with other prizes)!

The last thing swimwear sales exec Holly Schlivnik expected was to discover ruthless buying office big wig Bunny Frank’s corpse trussed up like a Thanksgiving turkey with a bikini stuffed down her throat. When Holly’s colleague is arrested for Bunny’s murder, the wise-cracking, irreverent amateur sleuth jumps into action to find the real killer. Nothing turns out the way Holly thinks it will as she matches wits with a wily killer hellbent on revenge.

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