Family Holiday Traditions

Howdy folks, I was asked to write a small note about my family holiday traditions that I enjoyed growing up with. But before I begin, I want to thank everyone who made it out to our Le Vigne Winery Thanksgiving dinner this past Saturday. It was such a happy and enjoyable event. Good people, great food, and just the right music made us feel like the holidays were here and ready to be enjoyed. -Now on with my assignment.

My parents immigrated from Austria and became Americans, as it was done back in those days. They assimilated quickly, and growing up; we followed more American celebrations than Austrian. Our typical celebration was a wonderful dinner on Christmas Eve and then we went to church on Christmas Day. My Mama would make a flourless chocolate walnut cake that was to-die-for. I will have to see if the recipe exists and ask Walter to make it one of these days. 

Walter & Sylvia

Once I married Walter, and we started our family. We would generally get together at our house with my family and enjoy a great dinner and open presents. Christmas Day Walter likes to invite family friends to continue the celebration and then take the dogs for a walk in the afternoon. Yes, we have always had a great group of people to enjoy ourselves with! On one such Christmas Eve, I remember thanking God for healthy kids, a good year at work, and the best bone-in pork roast I ever made. Yes, I cook but just for the family, I leave all the rest for Walter. Well, we went to open presents, and suddenly my son Domenico yelled FIRE! A tall candle had melted into the table decoration, and the smoke filled the dining room. Next, the sprinklers went off, and we all jumped up. What I remember to this day are the neighbors after seeing the fire trucks and all the commotion coming with beach towels and shop vacs to help mop up the mess. My mom and dad left with their pants rolled up because of the water on the floor. Walter’s parents were here from Italy and just could not believe it. They helped to lift the furniture and carpets off the wet floor. Dogs and cats were running everywhere. Looking back, I can only laugh at the circus, but the kindness of our neighbors, some of who showed up in their holiday sweaters, was wonderful. The firemen took back wine and our cake as thanks. 

I do look forward to Christmas this year. We have grandchildren, and it is really about them and seeing their faces light up when papa brings in the Christmas tree while we sit on the couch and sip a little Nikiara. 

The Filippini family wishes you all a healthy and peaceful holiday season, and we thank you for all your support. 

Sylvia Filippini

by Charlie Mackesy

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