Christmas is a holiday like no other. We either spend it with friends or family, or if we are lucky enough we get to spend it with friends and family. Sitting here today and thinking back on my time home, I used to love Christmas. We had the food, drink and who could forget the stories of our parents’ and grandparents’ past? As an Italian-American, food was and will always be the number one thing on that list of great times. Living here in Moscow, Russia, I can’t say that I don’t miss my home. However I get to see the difference between the two cultures and see the similarities as well. For us Christmas is a holy holiday in which you have to eat an odd number of fish then on the day itself you get to eat anything you want. Here in Russia, you are not allowed to eat any type of meat until Christmas and only at 12 am. The religions aside, when you sit down to eat, we are both the same. Eating and sharing different stories about our past as well as what we will do for the future.
Family is a wonderful thing to have and my favorite times were waking up Christmas eve smelling the fish and getting everything ready for our guests. When it came time to host our family, we acted as if we haven’t seen each other for ages when in fact we would see each other for a good part of the year. Going to bed at night and waiting until your parents have gone to bed only to sadly fall asleep before you can check out your presents. I remember all those times when my brother and I would run down the stairs and straight for the presents under the tree, when my father jumped out in his underwear and scared us. Running back up the stairs and going to bed, it was the last time we both tried to get our presents before my family could see what we got.
Christmas day, was always a great day, the toys, the candy and the cards of well wishing. Times were easier back then, I love to remember those rather than trying to forget about them. I guess you can say, we are just like your normal run-of-the-mill family. We would open our gifts up bright and early then we would pack into the car to drive to our cousin’s house to have a nice great get together. After spending Christmas with your Italian-American family, you will see how loud people can be.
My Christmas memories will always be mine, no one will be able to take them away, I love Christmas; what it stands for and what it means for people. Christmas done right can always make you feel so much better than anything in the world. Good times, good food and good people.