Christmas – rooted in the Christian faith but celebrated by non-Christians, too – is a day of worship, festivities, meaningful presents and thoughtful messages, decorated trees and whatever unique Christmas traditions people have to make the most of the day. If you are looking forward to a white Christmas, that may not happen, but you can still enjoy it via some great holiday movies. And be sure to stay safe this Christmas, avoiding any mishaps with wrapping paper, decorating and your Christmas tree.
Queen Elizabeth addresses the public – in her own words
Queen Elizabeth II’s annual Christmas message is the only address by Her Majesty that isn’t written or edited by the government. Buckingham Palace released some teasers for the pre-recorded message, which will be broadcast on Tuesday, Christmas Day. Expect the monarch to reflect on the importance of treating others with consideration, and to reference “the places from which she draws strength and encouragement,” the palace said.
Christmas hours! Here’s what’s open
Don’t worry – there are still stores and restaurants keeping their doors open on Christmas Day. Last-minute shoppers looking for gifts or one last cooking ingredient won’t have many options Tuesday, but drug stores, including CVS and Walgreens, will be open, as will convenience stores including 7-Eleven, Wawa and Cumberland Farms. Most major restaurant chains also will be closed Tuesday, but many Starbucks, McDonald’s and Dunkin’ locations will be open along with IHOP, Denny’s and Waffle House. Delivery services such as Postmates, Grubhub, UberEats and Doordash will continue delivering food for participating restaurants.
Millions of people will compete for a whopper of a Christmas present this year: The next Mega Millions drawing falls on Tuesday. With no winners Friday night, the jackpot now stands at about $321 million ($193.7 million cash option). The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are quite slim: 1 in 302,575,350. There have been five jackpot wins so far in 2018, Mega Millions said, including the $1.537 billion jackpot that created a frenzy in October. The winner of that prize, who bought a ticket in South Carolina, has not yet claimed it.
Christmas watch list: NBA lineup and more
NBA on Christmas is a tradition like no other; this is year No. 71 of the league’s Dec. 25 festivities and the 11th year in a row the day features a five-game slate. The biggest names in basketball – LeBron James, Stephen Curry, James Harden, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Russell Westbrook, to name a few – will be in action, as will many of the league’s top franchises. If basketball isn’t your thing, round out your day watching some classic Christmas movies, such as “Elf,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and “Love, Actually.” If you want to hit the theaters, must-see movies include “Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse,” and “Vice.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Christmas movies, NBA games, Mega Millions: 5 things to know Tuesday
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