The Magic of Christmas

Children playing with the snow

Children playing with the snow

I remember a white Christmas from many moons ago……………….. I remember when my nose was red and my fingers were frosty because the wind was strong and it was very cold outside, but it didn’t stop my cousins and I trying to build a snowman.

Fresh Pine Christmas Tree

Fresh Pine Christmas Tree

Our family would have a real Christmas tree;

the smell of new pine was fresh around the room.

Nativity photo of Caterina Longo

photo of Caterina Longo

Also our nativity set as big as the writing desk we had. Each statue was placed with care, bring them closer to the stable each day.

Music around town photo of Giuseppe Barbaro

Music around town
photo of Giuseppe Barbaro

The celebrations would start nine mornings before Christmas, by five AM the music of the Christmas carols would be around town, waking everyone in time to be in church before daylight. The air of celebration was felt all over the small town of Messignadi.

The Joy of Christmas

The Joy of Christmas

I never asked Father Christmas for anything in particular. Thought I never asked every single year I would find a nice present under the tree.  I remember Christmas morning the first thing I would do was running to have a look under the Christmas tree with my little sister tagging along. The magic of knowing Father Christmas come to my house was thrilling.

After breakfast mamma would get me ready for church, I then wait for my cousins to come over and together we would make our way to church for the Christmas mass. Our mothers would go to Nonna’s house and get the Christmas lunch ready.

family celebration

family celebration

Lunch was the most exciting part for us kids.

We would place a letter under our father’s plates and after lunch they would notice the letter and each child would have to read it aloud and as a thank you every man in the room would give us some money.

No one was in a rush, no one had other plans, and the day was spent together by eating, drinking and telling stories. In the late afternoon the men would play a game of cards while the women and children would play bingo.

Christmas food pignolata - nzudi- pasta asciutta - carciofi-  zippole

Christmas food
pignolata – nzudi- pasta asciutta – carciofi- zippole

Yes Christmas is a time for family, though the snow is a far away memory replaced by the hot weather and the beach, the rest is the same, a day to spend with our family and be thankful of the good things we have in life.





2 cups flour
3 eggs
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup honey
1 tablespoon of butter
1 cup toasted almonds


Mix together;  flour, baking powder and salt.
Beat in the softened butter, add the eggs one at a time and beat.
Add the vanilla extract.

knead the dough well until it’s firm.

Pinch off in small pieces and roll them into little balls and deep fry them.

Warm the honey in a pan.

Mix the fried pieces and the toasted almonds in the honey.


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6 thoughts on “The Magic of Christmas

  1. Maria Timpano December 28, 2014 at 8:01 pm Reply

    Lovely memories! It is wonderful to see that you keep your tradition of Christmas going only in a different climate. Family, spending time together and the importance of staying connected!


  2. Sarma Burdeu December 28, 2014 at 11:41 pm Reply

    Very evocative and paints a beautiful picture of a true family Christmas. Lovely post xx


  3. dorabramden December 30, 2014 at 5:31 am Reply

    Thanks for sharing your Messignadi Christmas memories. They sound very special.


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