One of the reasons Christmas is my favorite holiday, isn't because of the presents, but for the Christmas spirit that fills the air and the heart's of most people.When I was growing up we didn't have a lot of money, but we had a lot of love. Every Christmas eve it was tradition in our house to put up a live Christmas tree.
We would have an open house, and all who came would help decorate the tree. It was so wonderful, we always ate fish on the eve, as is Italian tradition. We'd have Shrimp, Linguine and Clams, Fruti Di Mar( Italian fish salad served cold with calamari,shrimp,scungelli, crab, celery, lemon, fresh parsley, olive oil) certainly a treat, as it is very expensive to make. On top of that we would have something Fra Di Av lo, which just means red sauce with various degrees of heat behind it, boy was our house the house to be at, and believe me it grew every year, as did our open house reputation.
There is nothing like old friends, new friends and neighbors coming together and sharing goodwill, and well wishes. It was even more special when we had snow. That changed everything.
As we walked down the hill to our country white Church with it's steeple, singing Christmas carol's arm in arm the whole way; we would attend Mid-Night Mass, as was tradition and then scatter and regroup, geared up to go sleigh riding until we were drenched to the bone.
Saving the best for last, we headed back to the house for hot chocolate and whipped cream. The strange thing about it was, that it almost made Christmas morning anti-climatic.
Which was fine with us, I guess that's why the eve was always more momentous, even now in our adult years, we have the same party, just at my cousins; and instead of sleigh riding we play board games, Taboo is a family favorite.
I think it is easy for all of us to get caught up in the exchanging of presents, but perhaps this year we can all remember to give thanks for the love and family around us, and for those that were taken to early but blessed our lives forever. God Bless and Happy Holidays to all near and far.....Patricia©