What I love about the season is the music and the joy of everyone. I also like the fact that for almost a month it looks all Italian with all the green, white and red colors from table cloths to decorations!
Over the years, people seem to have forgotten what Christmas is all about. Everyone expects to receive gifts and if it isn’t what they want or it isn’t an expensive gift, they’re mad. When my brother and I were growing up, we got gifts from our godparents. Our aunts and uncles would hand us an envelope with $5 inside—and we were very appreciative.
I’m thankful that my children appreciate what they receive from whomever gives them a gift. Santa comes to our house—not to everyone else’s house—to deliver my children’s gifts. We buy our kids solid gifts. We do not buy things just to buy them and then convince them that Santa brought them hundreds of gifts.
Also, my wife and I do not exchange gifts. We would rather make the kids happy. Now, mind you, I’m not saying there is anything wrong if you do this! Nor am I against spouses exchanging gifts; it’s just something we decided for ourselves long ago. We would rather take care of the children first.
One year my kids asked me, “dad what are you going to ask Santa for?” I said,
I’m going to ask him for a box of cigars.” Sure enough, there was a nice box of fresh cigars under the tree Christmas morning.
Sometimes my wife tells me that I’m like an old man and that I should have been born in the 60‘s! The truth is that I like the way the old timers did it. They did it right. Everything they did fits into how I believe things should be done and what I believe in.
For instance, for many older people, and myself, “Christ-mas,” is the celebration of the birth of Christ, first and foremost. However, I do highly respect your morals, values, and beliefs. I never judge other people for their beliefs. I wish Merry Christmas to people. But if you are of a different faith, and say something like Happy Hanukah or even Happy Holidays, I would return the greeting and say Happy Hanukah or Happy Holidays back to you. I do not get offended.
We spend Christmas Eve at my in-laws place. They do the traditional Feast of the Seven Fish. I don’t talk much when I’m there because I am too busy eating. Some of the delicious food they prepare include pasta with calamari sauce, bacalla, king crab legs, jumbo shrimp, orange roughy, wedding soup, and lots more. We also enjoy a few Birra Moretti’s and listen to some old school Italian music. One of my kids’ favorite songs is Dominick the Donkey. It doesn’t have to be Christmas for us to listen to that one! It’s always fun for the kids when we go there because they get to see their cousins and have fun with them.
On Christmas Day, we spend time with my parents. We also have a nice big feast. Our homemade wine is flowing, we have a nice cheese spread, sopressata and other cured meats, wedding soup, stuffed manicotti, homemade Italian pastries, veggie tray, shrimp tray, homemade sweet sausage sandwiches and more. We listen to some older and newer Christmas songs along with Frank Sinatra. It’s another fun filled night for the kids. They get to hang out with more cousins and have a good time.
I hope you all have a wonderful and safe Christmas or whatever holiday occasion your families celebrate.
Until next time and remember—green, white and red all day everyday!