Greetings and here we are at the happiest and holiest of Seasons. As a world we
celebrate in many different ways. For me and my family in December it will always be

Growing up we celebrated a traditional Christmas but being Italian we also observed a
few ethnic customs. On December 13th, my grandmother made me a wheat cereal in
honor of St. Lucia, my given confirmation name. We had a special fish dinner on
Christmas Eve to observe the no meat rule then of Catholicism. We had a real live tree
with manger strategically placed underneath and we did wait for Santa Clause. Along
with this we also celebrated on January 6th, l’epifania (Feast of the Epiphany) when
LaBefana (a good witch) left some sweet treats (I dolciumi), if you were good in la calza
(your stocking). Naughty children found, il carbone (coal) a sweet made with black
sugar. Church activities were always exciting with the glorious Christmas carols. And of
course, we gathered around our table later in the day with our relatives and ended a
lengthy meal by enjoying such treats as il torrone, panettone, pandoro,fruits and nuts and
maybe some pastries (in a good year) to name a few. The essence of the day certainly
was family, love and food.

Not too much has changed here in our house. Christmas is awaited with a passion and the
entire month is filled with wonderful things. We will gather together for a few days as
our North Carolina family travels down to be with us and carry on many wonderful old
traditions. There will be Church service and some caroling, a few games but, most
definitely there will be the traditional Christmas Eve fish dinner.

Wishing you all Christmas Blessings.