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Christmas at the movies? The theaters are so delightful.

From left, Aakash Sharma, Amy Ishioka and Raj Gomes, all of Somerville, walked to AMC Assembly Row 12 in Somerville on Wednesday.Nic Antaya for The Boston Globe/The Boston Globe

Alysse Glovinsky’s flight to Baltimore didn’t depart until 10 p.m. on Christmas Eve. She knew she’d be home for less than 36 hours. But the force is strong in her family.

It wasn’t especially about Christmas. It was about seeing “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.”

“I have to see ‘Star Wars,’ with my dad,” said Glovinsky, who moved to Boston over a year ago. “It’s a tradition."

Her mom, dad, and sister always venture to a galaxy far, far, away together.

“Every film that comes out, my dad buys the tickets in advance,” she says of the “Star Wars” tradition. “We sit in the very front. He buys the super size popcorn and Storm Trooper drinks. Everything is on the table, every candy. It’s a special day for dad, for all of us. I will fly home for this experience.”


But they, along with the rest of the “Star Wars” fandom, weren’t the only ones spending Christmas Day at the theaters. A 10:15 a.m. showing of “Little Women” was nearly sold out at South Bay in Dorchester, and the 1 p.m. show was booked solid.

Christmas Eve to New Year’s Eve is a box-office clean up with ticket sales in the hundreds of millions.

Everyone has their own reasons, but I’ve always loved to escape the frantic holiday rush, the emotional and literal traffic jams, the politically correct smiles we paint on for new friends at the family table, and the overload of it all.

No one is talking to you at the movies. No one is asking you to do a thing. You just sit there, and wait for it: you relax.

Holiday decompression looks different for everyone. After a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, my mama liked a Virginia Slim and football. My big sister and I, however, liked to bond in the dark solace of a movie theater. Put a big, blue Icee in my hand and let me lose myself in the big screen.


This year, I’m away from home. We kept our sisterly tradition up last month. So on Christmas Eve, one of my besties and I decided to bring in the holiday together. She brought her slippers and Christmas cookies. I brought a candy cane. We thought we were seeing “Little Women.” It was a glitch. The movie wasn’t showing just yet. Our backup: A 10:30 p.m. showing of “Uncut Gems” or “Star Wars.”

We took a gamble on Adam Sandler, got two bags of popcorn, our drinks, and reclined in our seats.

And so, just after 1 a.m. on Christmas morning, we sat in a half-full theater trying to catch our breath after the anxiety-inducing yet brilliant “Uncut Gems.

“That was stressful,” a voice said behind us. We turned around and saw five friends, just as emotionally spent as us. In solidarity, we shared our treats.

It was their first time bringing in Christmas together at the movies. But Tabrina St. Cyere said she’d do it again.

They’d been trying to get together for the last week but couldn’t find time. But late night on Christmas Eve? They could swing that.

“I always have a good time with this group of friends,” she says. “There is so much pressure to be on during the holidays. This is time to get away.”


Tis the season to unplug. And I want a do-over. “Uncut Gems" was a gritty roller coaster ride. But we were looking for a respite.

On Christmas afternoon I walked into the theater to grab two tickets to the 10:45 p.m. of “Little Women.” We deserve a movie with a heart at least three sizes bigger.

Jeneé Osterheldt can be reached at jenee.osterheldt@globe.com and on Twitter @sincerelyjenee and on Instagram @abeautifulresistance.