As I am preparing for the Christmas holidays I always remember Christmas as the Four F’s; Family, Friends, Food and Festivity.  This was true of all the holidays we used to celebrate.  However, of all the holidays Christmas was by far the most elaborate.

We always had a fresh pine Christmas tree which was put up the week before Christmas.  There we no mini lights then so we had strings of the larger lights and very traditional ornaments, red rope and tinsel finished off the decorations.  My mother always bought five ropes of red cinnamon candy which was wrapped around the tree, sometimes popcorn balls and candy canes.  We would get these treats when the tree came down.  Something we kids looked forward to.

My sisters and I used to play games involving the Christmas tree, such as trying to guess which ornament we were looking at, sometimes when pointing out the ornament it would fall and break which brought a loud TSK from mom.  We all bought gifts for each other, they were wrapped and placed under the tree which always added to the excitement and anticipation for Christmas morning.

I remember Christmas Eve dinner as mom preparing all kinds of fish, we followed the Catholic tradition of no meat on the eve.  In later years meat was allowed on Christmas Eve and our menu changed with it.  Lasagne, chicken, ham, sausage, salads, cookies and chocolate pie.

Mom kept up the tradition of the Four F’s for decades ending when she announced she was not physically able to continue.  Then my siblings and myself picked up the celebration.  Today I prepare Christmas Eve celebration with my children and grandchildren with a modified menu my mother set and I hope my family will have the fond memories of Christmas that I still remember.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Healthy Happy New Year.


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