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With options few, Christmas busy for those open
Jami Godbee washes dishes Tuesday at Huddle House on Hwy. 20. Christmas Day is one of the busiest of the year for the restaurant. - photo by Autumn McBride

While most businesses are closed for Christmas Day and part or all of Christmas Eve, some retailers will leave the lights on to offer meals, movies and more.

Christmas is a big day for entertainment, which means local video rental stories and movie theaters will be open for business.

“It’s one of the busiest times of year,” said Kim Haynes, manager at Movies 400 in Cumming. “It’s a good way to spend time with your family.

“Not everybody celebrates Christmas either and there’s no place to go ... it’s usually busier than a normal Saturday.”

Big Christmas releases include “Gulliver’s Travels,” “Little Fockers” and “True Grit.”

Haynes said there’s a “wide variety of things opening up for everybody.”

Also serving up a variety is Huddle House, which will be open for what amounts to their busiest day of the year.

“There’s not that many places open on Christmas Day,” said Jodi Thatcher, manager of the Huddle House on Buford Highway in Cumming. “We want to be there for our customers and their families.

“You can get any meal any time here. Breakfast, lunch or dinner — it doesn’t matter what time of the day it is.”

Another Christmas favorite is Chinese food, which is why Lee’s Golden Buddah in Tri-County Plaza will be open from 3 to 9 p.m.

“We open a half day always because the early morning is not busy,” said Brian Tseng, supervisor. “But dinner time, it depends, sometimes it’s very busy, sometimes not. You cannot tell.

“Mostly it’s families, like a couple and a few kids, or sometimes there’s a big family that will enjoy a family dinner.”

While most grocery stores will be closed for the holiday, convenience and drug stores like certain CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens locations will be open in case folks run out of milk or other necessities.

Going out on Christmas is not for everyone though. Sometimes families like to eat a home-cooked meal and be entertained at home.

“It’s not uncommon for families to just want to relax and watch movies together. It’s just another form of family entertainment,” said Patty Sullivan, Blockbuster Video spokeswoman.

“The week of Christmas to New Year’s [Day] and actually the week after New Year’s ironically is typically our busiest ... it’s a time for entertainment when friends and families are gathering.”

Newer movies like “Inception,” “Despicable Me” and “Toy Story 3” are available to rent, as are Christmas classics.

“The classics are always big and all Christmas movies prove to be favorites,” Sullivan said. “There’s often a section in the store that’s your go-to Christmas section.

“It’s sort of a tradition for many families.”