Something Old, Something New

Christmas 2009

Traditions are important, especially around the holidays. Each family has them and with each generation others are added. 
As a kid I remember a version of the Feast of the Seven Fishes (festa dei sette pesci), which is celebrated on Christmas Eve. It’s believed to have originated in Southern Italy and is not a tradition know in many parts of Italy. The tradition of eating fish on Christmas Eve dates back to the medieval Roman Catholic tradition of abstinence, in this case the refraining of eating meat and milk products on Friday or specific holy days. Since no meat or butter could be used, Catholics would eat fish instead. 

Boston 2009

This tradition in our family has changed over the year with the passing of the generations, some of the more traditional fish/seafood dishes, such as Baccalà (salted cod fish) have disappeared from the table since the passing of my Great-Grandmother others have remained such as stuffed calamari in tomato sauce. Even though my family now spends Christmas Eve away from my Mother and my Grandmother (we usually spend Christmas Day with them), we still try to carry on this tradition in some way. Mad Dog learned to make the stuffed calamari a few years ago, buying the squid whole and learning to clean it. We have also created a seafood lasagna which has become a part of our Christmas Eve dinner which we have brought to Mad Dog’s Mom’s house. 

New Years Eve Day 2009

Along with the feast and the seven fishes, we have other traditions such as the ornament tradition that my Mother started for us that I mentioned in my last post. My Mom also started a tradition of buying us a game each year. Each Christmas “Santa” would bring the family a game, most of the time it was a version of Trivial Pursuit or something like that. After dinner we would clear the dinning room table grab a soda or cup of coffee and dessert and play it as a family. Over the years an additional tradition came into being from the game tradition – the “Beat Sean” Tradition. Kevin and I would vow to destroy him any chance we had. We made a pretty good run at this and still do. Mad Dog and my Brother-in-law, Brent have both joined in this tradition when Sean visits and we all get together for a game or two. This year I am adopting the game tradition for my family, but instead of a board game I purchased a Wii Game for us all to play (even Loki and Lex). 

What traditions have we made for our family. Well, we have started a Pajama Tradition, where the kids all get new PJs each Christmas. This is not something very creative, a lot of families do this. This tradition for us was started with Loki’s first Christmas and is continuing this year. This year all three children will have matching red pjs. Also, we will read The Night Before Christmas. I purchased copies of the version I had when I was a kid for both Lex and Loki. I remember my Dad reading it to me. For New Years Eve Day, we will keep my Dad’s tradition of taking us into Boston for the day alive as we did last year. We check out the ice sculptures and the other First Night Events as a family before heading home and stuffing ourselves with Chinese Food. 

Next year with the kids a little older I hope to start some important traditions in regards to giving back.Possibly donating time or visiting a nursing home and the elderly. So many of the holiday donations are about kids, and I think that is fine, but we can’t forget those older souls that might need a little Christmas cheer in their golden years. But for now I will see if I can get them (the kids that is) to eat some stuff calamari in their red pajamas, while listening to The Night Before Christmas and playing the Wii (as a family). 


~ by Cute Fan Girl on December 10, 2010.

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