By: Basil M. Russo, ISDA President
Christmas holds a very special place in each of our hearts. It is the time we feel the strongest attachment to the two most important gifts in our lives: our faith and our family.
Our church teaches us that Holy Week and Easter Sunday are the most important days of the Christian liturgical year because we mourn the death, and then celebrate the Resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ. And indeed they are.
But there is something so very warm and special about the Nativity story and the birth of our Savior that brings families together in a way that even Easter cannot.
Birth is the most exhilarating event of the human experience. Nothing in life creates the happiness, joy and excitement that accompanies the birth of a child. And the story of the birth of our savior on a starry night, in a manger amidst animals and shepherds, so beautifully represents the miracle of birth in all of our imaginations.
As Italian Americans, whose cultural identity is so deeply rooted in our love of family, Christmas and the story of the Holy Family provides us with the opportunity to celebrate each of our own families.
From the very time we arrived in this country, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day became the most important and most celebrated events for Italian-American families.
Our December edition of La Nostra Voce contains several stories from our members who have shared their family’s celebrations of Christmas, both in Italy and our country. (We’ll be posting these contributions online leading up to Christmas, and we hope you enjoy the spirited articles.)
Stories that are filled with fond memories about the preparation of food and the enjoyment families have celebrating Christmas together. We are a people whose history in rooted in tradition, and who feel a responsibility to preserve that tradition.
So again this year, let us continue our tradition and celebrate Christmas, celebrate our faith, and celebrate our families as the most important gifts in our lives.
Merry Christmas to all of our ISDA family!
This article first appeared in La Nostra Voce, ISDA’s 28-page monthly newspaper. Join ISDA today for $25/year and receive a 12-month subscription of the newspaper that features stories chronicling Italian travel, culture, food and more.