On Christmas morning, Betty and Daniel Jones made their way up Broad Street from Arch Street United Methodist Church, where they breakfasted on eggs and grits, to the Chosen 300 Ministries on Spring Garden Street, where they would line up for their next meal.

"We love the holy spirit of the day and we thank God every day for allowing us to live," said Betty Jones, carrying plastic bags stuffed with clothes.

Betty, 55, and Daniel, 58, live in South Philadelphia now. They're on public assistance, but no longer homeless.

"I still come out to see the friends I had from eight years out here on the street," Daniel Jones said. "They're still my friends."

They were just some of the Philadelphians who marked Christmas Day - which fell on the fifth day of Hanukkah and 24 hours from the start of Kwanzaa - with gratitude and goodwill.

The Joneses and about 300 others ate well at Arch Street United Methodist, thanks to a crew of volunteers led by Pat Taylor, 77, and her children, Christine, Steven, and Russell Whaley.

Folks got where they needed to go, thanks in part to SEPTA workers like Torre Wood, 46, a divorced father who lacked the seniority to get the day off, and so worked a double shift.

And at the National Museum of American Jewish History at Fifth and Market Streets, old and young celebrated the Festival of Lights and the religious freedom inherent in the name of the museum's annual program, "Being Jewish at Christmas."

"I grew up in Iowa, where there were maybe two Jewish children in the whole second grade," said Paul Robin, 51, visiting with his wife and two children from Washington.

"We had the option not to participate in singing Christmas songs in school, but that was even more difficult than singing along," Robin said as Jon Nelson's Rockin' Kids Revue played "Mitzvah USA" to a tune the Beach Boys played with surfing in mind.

"I know all the words to "Silent Night," said Sharon Katz of West Berlin, who looked on as grandsons Bennett, 6, and Jonah, 4, made dreidels out of clay at the museum.

"I hummed my way through the 'Christ the Saviour,' part," Katz said. "You sort of felt guilty."

By the time Katz's daughter Jessica Kutikov, 34, was in elementary school, only "nonreligious" songs such as "Frosty the Snowman" and "Jingle Bells" made it to her class' sing-along list. Now Kutikov's boys attend a Jewish day school, where singing along or standing out is not an issue.

Nearly 1,000 people from across the region passed through the museum's doors Sunday. All the exhibit halls were open, and there was an interactive LaserScience show with the Wondergy program, as well as dreidel making, board games, and an opportunity to see episodes of The Goldbergs, a 1950s CBS television comedy about the home life of a Jewish family in the Bronx that was sponsored by Sanka instant coffee.

That's where Paula Cohen of Center City sat with her husband, Bill "like the Peanut Chews" Goldenberg.

"I remember reading from the Bible in elementary school," Cohen, 63, said. "I still love to hear 'I'll Be Home For Christmas.' That's my favorite."

Another Jewish tradition on Christmas is to eat out at Chinese restaurants owned or operated by Buddhists, who also do not celebrate Christmas.

Not so this year, said Robin, the visitor from Washington: "We're having Thai!"

Contact staff writer Dianna Marder at 215-854-4211, dmarder@phillynews.com, or @marderd on Twitter. Read her recent work at http://go.philly.com/diannamarder