We asked readers to share their Christmas memories, and in return they delivered a treasured glimpse into the Italian-American experience. Enjoy these heartwarming stories, and be sure to share your favorite memories in the Facebook post below.
Barbara Falzone The clink clink clink of clams being scrubbed in the sink. The smell of fried shrimp. Beautiful whole lobsters cleaned and baking in a spicy tomato sauce. Aglio e oglio gently purring in the frying pan to make the clam sauce. The tree glowing, music playing, my mom and aunt in their Christmas aprons. My most favorite night of the year. I have such wonderful memories of Christmases past.
Patricia DeStasio Popovitch We would all go to my grandma and grandpa’s house where all the aunts, uncle’=s and cousins would gather. There was so much love and laughter in their home, all you had to do was look around to see and feel it. Then we would always go to midnight mass. When we got home, we were allowed to open one present each. Such memories, and I have followed this tradition with my own children and grandchildren. Traditions and knowing those of our parents and grandparents is very important!
Jeannie Baker Witherell Oh we used our very best table settings. Mom was one of 12 children. Our house was the place to be. There were at least 3 cousins my age. 3 my sister’s age etc. The meal came in courses . The antipasto plate was a meal of it’s own (my uncle owned a meat market so you can imagine). When dinner was done, the men would retire to the living room and the women did the dishes, which should of been filmed because it was so much fun and laughter in that kitchen. There was much attention given to papa. Making sure he was comfortable! Oh how I wish I had another day with all of them. Heaven will be fun!
Maria Ungaro Preparing the table the night before with my Grandpa. We would go to the basement, get planks of wood and make a big table. We would put the table cloth down and begin to set. My grandpa’s tradition still continues even though he isn’t around anymore. My son and I do it now.
Melissa Weaver Christmas Day at my great nonnas. I will never forget the smell of the food, the favorite sweets, we little kids sitting in the kitchen with our own special demitasse cups of espresso, and me being the one to use the hand grinder for the next pot. I actually still have and use the grinder. My great nonno smoking his cigars in the living room, all the aunts and uncles and cousins cramped into one tiny house.
Here’s to the new memories we’ll make today, together. Salute, and buon Natale!
Find the complete list of Italian Christmas memories here: