When the Parker family visited the Chop Suey Palace after a dinner snafu in the 1983 movie “A Christmas Story,” Chinese food on Christmas was presented as an unorthodox occurrence. However, search data from Google shows that eastern cuisine is sought after on the holiday more than the film suggested.
In 2018, the term “Chinese food” received an interest value of 100 from Google on Christmas Day, which translates into peak popularity by the search engine. The term received an interest value of 58 on Christmas Eve and 53 on Dec. 23.
After the Christmas Day spike, interest in Chinese food drops down by nearly half. Dec. 27 and 28 were days that dropped below 50, but searches for Chinese food began to pick up again closer to New Year celebrations.
Related queries included “Chinese food Christmas,” “food open on Christmas Day,” “Chinese food open on Christmas” and “Chinese food on Christmas.”
The number one search term for the day was “restaurants open on Christmas.”
The Northeast coast was the region where Chinese food was highly searched for. Delaware was the state that reached peak interest followed by New Jersey, New York, New Hampshire and Connecticut to round out the top five.
Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine and Pennsylvania were other top-searched states in addition to the District of Columbia.
Another major related topic that appeared in Google’s 2018 search data was “Chinese cuisine in Jewish culture in the United States,” which received an astounding 4,850 percent increase.
The popularity of the topic wasn’t a fluke either. Chinese food on Christmas Day is a tradition held dear by many Jewish families, according to a report from Eater.
In fact, the Christmas rush can be so intense that Chinese restaurants across the country regard the holiday as one of the busiest workdays.
“I do a lot more yelling. That’s usual,” Robert Chang told the publication regarding the stress that comes with Christmastime cooking at the Princess Garden restaurant in Kansas City.
Although his family-run restaurant cooks around the clock with no break, Chang said they are grateful for the opportunity and view it positively.
“It’s a good challenge for me. I want to cook perfectly, and I want to know how the dishes come out and how people like it,” Chang remarked.
He added, “Every time I cook, I’m fighting for time. It’s a kind of fun."