Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Spirit of Christmas



I am so excited that I couldn't wait until morning to post this!! Brenda at Country Romance just gave me this award!! I love it. From the ho, ho, ho to the meaning behind it. Christmas has always been such a special time for me. My childhood Christmases were spent with my entire family. Christmas Eve meant no meat. So we dined (and still do) on the Feast of the Seven Fish. Now your version may include different varieties of fish. But ours includes: anchovies, shrimp, crab, tilapia, baccala, smelts and Italian tuna. That meal also includes pitalas (pea-ta-lahs) which are basically little loaves (shaped sorta like the palm of your hand) of fried dough. YUM YUM!! Let me tell you, there ain't nothing in the whole world like a fresh pitala straight out of the oil. We have cheeses and olives, celery and anise. Shrimp cocktail and anchovies. Then we have what my son calls "broccoli soup" which is basically a ton of fresh broccoli, cooked down to a soup with garlic and topped with Romano cheese. Then spaghetti with oil and breadcrumbs, the tilapia, smelts and baccala (cod.) After dinner, we have espresso, chocolates, torrone, assorted nuts and fresh fruit. Every year my sister cuts up the pomegranate and passes it to my brother and me. My sister-in-law jokes that she just likes to watch the 3 of us go crazy over it.

My father then reads Twas the Night Before Christmas to the grandkids (changing the words to hear them laugh.) He's pretty much known as Jolly old Saint Nickle Ass. And the kids howl! We open presents and then head off to midnight mass. Truly there is no more special day in church for me. Something about going to church at night and knowing that we are celebrating the birth of our Savior leaves me in complete awe. The stained glass windows take on a completely different look in that light. The nativity on the alter is absolutely breathtaking. My mom even made a ceramic nativity set based on the colors of the one at church. Come closer to Christmas I will be sure and post a picture.

I could go on and on about my memories and experiences surrounding the beauty of the reason for the season. But, I will get to the point! My job is to now pass this on to 5 people who represent the Spirit of Christmas to me. I picked 6 before I realized and then couldn't decide to who to take off of the list....

Polly at Counting Your Blessings
Gina, my niece at Mangia Mangia
Pat at Back Porch Musings
Robin at Bittersweet Punkin
Rosemary at Rose's Petite Maison
Melissa at The Inspired Room

Go to Santa's Mailbox to get your award!!

33 comments:

restyled home said...

Julie, this was such a beautiful post. Full of such nice details about your Christmas traditions. You have such a sweet way of telling a story. Your blog is a delight...
Now you've gone and got me thinking about Christmas big-time!! As if I needed any prodding...I'm a huge Christmas fan!!!

All the best,
Linda

Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio said...

How fun to learn about your Christmas traditions and memories! I really enjoyed this post!
Penny

BittersweetPunkin said...

Julie...you are just too good to me!Thank you Thank you Thank you! I love it!!!!!!!! It's so PRETTY....
You are such a Doll...
Love and Gratitude,
Robin

justabeachkat said...

Congratulations Julie! I loved reading this post. Nice traditions in your family.

Hugs!
Kat

Mary Isabella said...

Ooooo you Christmas sound so wonderful. Perhaps you could shre more of these specials memories with us as Christmas gets closer. Mary

Emilie said...

That sounds like quite a feast! I wish I could be there.
We usually have crab on Christmas Eve, but that's boring.
Going to mass at midnight sounds like fun.

You mentioned something called torrone. What is it? I'm thinking it might be chocolate and nuts or nougat, but I don't know.

PAT said...

I absolutely loved reading about your wonderful Christmas traditions.

Thank you so much for The Spirit of Christmas award!

Pat

Alexandra, Writing & Baking Enthusiast said...

Lots of lovely Christmas memories...though it is amazing what I learn from my students..many did not have Christmases like we did. In fact they were nightmares...nothing children should have to experience. That is why it is important to use our smiles and be kind ~ absolutely free.
Have a lovely day ~
Alexandra

Anita said...

How awesome is that!? I haven't ever seen that award... :)
Congratulations!
Great post... Christmas traditions are so wonderful... Once my grandparents were gone, our family had no traditions.. My mom is not even a tiny bit sentimental...
Rick and I have traditions in our branch of the family, though...

ShabbyInTheCity said...

So many awards! I hadn't seen this one yet. GrannySkywalker talks about Christmas all the time.
Your family celebration sounds really fun!

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

Well what a great way to kick off the holidays for me! Julie, that post was so lovely and I am so honored to be included in your list to receive the Spirit of Christmas award! Thank you so much! I am off to start singing some Christmas carols and drink hot cocoa right now...

Love ya!

xo,
Melissa

Mary said...

OK, Julie, once again I'm drooling! I was never a big fan of the fish, but I always loved the spaghetti with olive oil and garlic. Your pitalas sound like something my mom made called "fried cakes." Bread dough fried in oil, topped with salt. Is that the same thing?

Excuse me while I go find something to eat!
xoxo,
Mary

Janet said...

Ok Julie-- so I *love* that I just blogged about wanting Hallowe'en to be over & done with 'cause I can't wait to 'start' with Christmas, and then I come over here and you've got a Christmas blog going! With Frank singing, no less! To answer my own blog question, I guess I'm not alone...
Your Christmas feast sounds *wonderful* and so do your traditions. We too go to Midnight Mass and you're right-- there's nothing like it. My Mom & I sing in the choir and decorate the church, so to see all our practice and hard work to come fruition so rewarding. Oh, you've so got me in the holiday mood! To quote the Alvin, Simon & Theodore 'Hurry Christmas.. hurry fast!'

;)

Alice said...

Congratulations on the award, Julie. I hope you will share more of your traditions and memories of Christmas with us is the holidays get closer. Your Christmas eve menu sounds amazing.

Rosemary said...

Julie,
Thanks so much for the great Christmas award. I will try to figure out how to pass it on.
I love Christmas. I loved your post today, being Italian I know exactly what you are talking about.
Thanks again,
Rosemary

Terri and Bob said...

Congrats on the award, everyone!

Redneck Nerdboy! said...

Last night I dined on the Fish of the Seven Dumpsters!

I ran out of Ramen Noodles.

Back Through Time said...

You have such a way of telling a story!! You need to be writing that book!!
Michelle

FarmHouse Style said...

Congratulations on the beautiful award. What a warm and loving family tradition. It sounds just perfect:)

Rhonda

DebraK from ~the Bunnies Bungalow~ said...

Congrats on the award! All the food you mentioned sounds so delish, I'd love for you to cook for me not only at Christmas but any time!

If I could cook like that I wouldn't care for Olive Garden either. LOL


Hugs to you, DebraK

Kari & Kijsa said...

Christmas is coming! So many sweet memories and new traditions to start....we have a rule in our family that we have to give each other hand-made gifts....so fun...unless it's two days a way and you haven't started!

smiles, kari and kijsa

Counting Your Blessings said...

I cracked up reading Michelle's comment on my post today and then yours right after! Here's the link: http://magnoliapearl.com/ -you gotta check her out!! Now, you my darling are just too sweet! I love that I get to "talk" with all of you everyday. I'm so humbled that in the midst of my twirly, scatter brain days, you give me this award! Thank you for the depths of my overflowing heart. Blessings... Polly

Cris said...

Love your memories... italian words are so similar to portuguese (bacalla, torrone). Have a nice evening! xoxox

Linda said...

Congratulations on this lovely award. Your post is beautiful,and what a wonderful family you have, with lovely traditions...you are truly blessed. Linda

Linda said...

Congratulations on this lovely award. Your post is beautiful,and what a wonderful family you have, with lovely traditions...you are truly blessed. Linda

Cre8Tiva said...

how fun julie...great memories are held in my heart too...blessings, rebecca

joan said...

Congrats on your award! You completely deserve this. I bet with a big Italian family that you had wonderful food and tradition. I know we do with my husband's big Italian family! Congrats again.

Bethany Hissong said...

I love reading about your family traditions! I just love midnight Mass too! And now I'm also hungry...so I'm going to the kitchen now (thanks!).

Meggie said...

Julie: Congrats on your Christmas Spirit Award. I love the story of how you family celebrates the holiday...thanks!

BellaColle said...

You are so deserving! congrats! folks really seem to love ya!
Christmas is such a special time of love and,'yup you are that!

Scrappy Moments said...

What a Beautiful Award and Thank You For Visiting My Blog and Leaving such nice comments :)

Angie

KJ said...

Greetings! It's nice to vist again!

I'm having a bit of a challenge reading your posts because the song player keeps loading right on top of the text. Is it just happening to me? It seems like the other posters are seeing things just fine. I can always come back in t a day or two and read what was once covered.

It don't know if I'm ready for Christmas yet, but you have sure set the mood!

Best Blessings, KJ

Sophie Honeysuckle said...

Congratulations Julie-so well deserved, your blog is lovely!!