of Christmases passed

Since our LivingSocial deal went live, the shop was hit HARD with orders for the holidays. We absolutely love the response and excitement from those who step into the shop and discover a new place that will supply cookies for their party, their child’s birthday cake. I have not even taken the time to finish any personal Christmas shopping this month as the business has been very successful this month.

At the shop today, I was chatting with my mom as she was writing a revised list of items she needed to grab for Christmas. Christmas evokes a lot of reminiscing and memory sharing for her. We have extended family left, and being that her immediate family has completely passed away within the last decade, the holidays have been skimpy, with just five of us around the table. We’ve see the Thanksgiving and Christmas as two days during the year that we eat early. That’s pretty much it. Myself and my brothers are older, and consider the holidays a day off of work. I’ve grown to think holidays are great when you’re a child or have a spouse and kids yourself. There’s the joy of getting the packages ready after the kids are asleep, their excitement that Santa is coming….stuff that I’ve outgrow or have not experienced yet…

Anyway, we started talking about the Christmases of the past. Having a once huge Italian family (maternal) and extremely generous and hospitable Syrian (paternal) family. The mind is filled with a living room looking as if a wrapping paper and ribbon bomb went off, Syrian staples (shireeah and batlawa), going home with trash bags full of loot (my grandmother spoiled us ROTTEN). This was all on Christmas Day, but the Eve is full of fabulous Italian traditions of fishes, cookies and midnight mass.

Some of Christmases passed traditions…

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(My aunt’s white tree screamed super retro cool with glass balls, wooden figure ornaments, she once had a tinsel tree with color wheel*, and putz houses!)

*totally found the color wheel in the house! Next year, I’m finding a tinsel tree!

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(Shireeah-a Syrian vermicelli/rice/cici bean dish, batlawa-which is like baklava, strufoli-fried dough balls and honey, torrone-nougat candy, Baci-my absolute favorite, Christmas Day lasagna)

Those days have been long set in the past. Christmas nowadays are a scaled-down version, with a fishy Eve and a carefully planned dinner the following day.

How do you celebrate the holidays? Do you retain any traditions from the past?

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