A grandmother is a mother who has a second chance

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas "back in the day"

A blogger friend, ba and the boys, did a post about her Christmas memories and asked that we write our own. She is also Italian so I could totally relate to her story. Italian Christmases are full of family, lots of talking and laughing, singing by the older people, very loud, and an awesome memory.

When I was a kid in Tucson, our Christmas went something like this. Christmas Eve we would all go to my great-grandmother's house to visit with family and to see her creche. The manger scene took up almost half of her living room. It was on a table and had so many parts to it that it put any other Christmas village to shame. Also, grandma had sixteen kids and, though only half of them made it to adulthood, it produced a lot of aunts, uncles, and cousins. We would all squeeze into this little tiny house. It would get so loud in there you couldn't even talk to each other. There were wine cookies, fried dough twists, pizelles, and red wine (you'd never catch a bottle of white wine in our houses).

After visiting Little Grandma, my mom's side of the family would head off to my grandmother's house which was only about a mile away. Here we would have the traditional fish dinner. Usually we kids got to open one gift that night just to stem the excitement a bit. After dinner we rushed home to eagerly await Christmas morning, more presents, and another big meal at either my Nana's house or my aunt's or ours. They rotated Christmas Day each year, but Christmas Eve was locked in place!

I've written past blogs about my plunger, my mother's doll, stories about my dad, tidbits from Christmas past. If you have a chance, stop by some of these posts. They are some of my best memories.

I wish my kids could have enjoyed those Christmases of old. Yes, we've developed our own traditions. But our family is scattered now, so many of them are gone, and there is something very different about an Italian holiday with the "old people" around that warms the heart.

Here's to everyone's holiday traditions. And your families. And your memories.

6 comments:

Fleur de Lisa said...

I just love that Christmas plunger!

I tell my son stories about my Christmases growing up and he thinks I'm a little bit crazy. :)

Maryann said...

Sandi, I feel the same way. What I wouldn't give for just one more holiday with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and brothers. Loud, yes. But it was FAMILY! Will this new generation know what we had then? I'm doing my best to make sure they do :) Nice memories, huh, kiddo?

ba and the boys said...

ahh...the 7 different fishes on christmas eve...how i remember avoiding them! and pizells...
it is funny that we both spent time at our great grandparents home...i swear we are related even though i grew up in philly...
buno natale!

namaste said...

merry christmas to you and your wonderful family, sandi!

:)

carmella anderson said...

Sandi, we will celebrate Christmas eve at my home tomorrow evening. We are preparing cod and squid with sauce and spagetti. we will open gifts before the grandkids go home and Christmas day go to their house and see what all they received. Merry Christmas to you and yours. Love Cookie and family

Donald Douglas said...

Well, here's wishing you and yours a wonderful Christmas