Santa Hats and Matzo Balls

Christmas Day in Los Angeles. Schools, offices, stores -- closed. On the streets, a Christmas miracle: no traffic and plenty of parking. For once, quiet reigned in the city. Mostly. At Canter's, the venerable deli on Fairfax, the line was out the door.

As you can see from the photo at left, this story required exhaustive field work. What did I learn? For lots of people, of all races and ethnicities, eating at Chinese restaurants and delis at Christmas is as much of a seasonal tradition as drinking eggnog or regifting.