The Christmas Season is upon us! Soon it will be time to trim your Christmas tree, hang your decorations and most importantly, spend time with those you love. I am very excited to share this special issue with all of you. What are some of your favorite holiday traditions? Whatever they may be, I hope all of you take time for the most important tradition.
Celebrations filled with food and opening presents are some of my best childhood memories. I can relive those moments now with my nieces, nephews, and my wonderful Godchildren. I am so excited to see all their eyes as they tear into that paper on Christmas morning. I feel so fortunate to have family and friends in my life and wish all of you the best Christmas season.
The publication continues to grow, and we know that would not be possible without all our loyal readers and advertisers. We look forward to hearing from you.
Please enjoy this 2004 piece from La Gazzetta Italiana’s late founder and editor, Paul Sciria. We love to keep his memory alive.
Christmas time was always celebrated in my maternal grandma’s house as my paternal grandparents lived in Italy. Nonna in Cleveland had the Christmas tree and the big dinner in the basement of her bungalow, which was decked out with a larger kitchen than she had upstairs. Downstairs had everything: stove, ice box, fruit bin, wine cellar, and a long table and chairs resting on a homemade wooden floor. Nonna and mom did the cooking. My aunts set the table and, after dinner, did the dishes and clean-up. Nonno and my uncles played cards, namely briscola or tonk. The ladies later played bingo.
Christmas gifts for my sister, Maggie, and I were mostly clothes, but she received a new doll every year. She still has the collection that includes Queen Elizabeth, Deanna Durbin and Shirley Temple. Maggie was also gifted an Underwood Typewriter which she still has; she doesn’t toss anything away. A cousin of ours would use her typewriter box as a suitcase when he occasionally left town.
Other than clothes and some money, I received sports-related gifts like bats and balls and, on one occasion, boxing gloves. Another Christmas we were given a microphone, speakers, and floodlights and my sister and I sang up a storm and recorded our so-called music. As I mentioned, she tosses nothing and still has those recordings. I don’t remember receiving toys other than a box of lead soldiers that my mother gave away because I was allergic to lead. I did get a Charlie McCarthy dummy, but I was no ventriloquist and that also disappeared.
Our New Year celebration mirrored Christmas, minus the gifts. Again, la famiglia enjoyed feasting, card playing and creating a lot of noise celebrating. At midnight, nonno and my uncles went outside and fired a gun in the air.
Although time changes everything, the memories will live forever.