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Christmas in Conneticut

A few weeks ago, I shared the story of ModeKnit Yarn. In that post, there is a picture of my mother, MaryAnne P, taken on Christmas Eve 2012.

My mother, Christmas 1980.
My mother, Christmas 1980.

Christmas was her favorite holiday of the year. Growing up in Connecticut, we always had a big celebration. Everyone came to our house on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

My heritage is mostly Italian (on my dad’s side) and English (on my mom’s side). We kept the tradition of The Meal of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve, and the tradition of roast beef and all the sides on Christmas Day.

Grandparents, my mom's dad and my dad's mom.
Grandparents, my mom’s dad and my dad’s mom.


Our house was where we gathered: I grew up in a large Victorian house with plenty of space for entertaining. My parents invited lots of people: relatives, family friends, stray co-workers. It was a full production every year, big decorated Christmas tree, house decorated inside and sometimes outside. We would eat Christmas eve dinner, stay up late and attend Midnight Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Norwich, CT, where I grew up.


Fancy dessert table.
Fancy dessert table.

My Grandpa would sleep over, and we’d for sure open gifts the next morning. Then we’d have our Christmas dinner,and in the evening we’d pile into the car and head out to a great-aunt’s house for another gathering. It was all very formal, and very fun, and I miss it tremendously! I’d love to go back in time and experience those Christmas parties as the adult I am now.


My Christmas these days is much more casual, spent with my in-laws here in Saint Paul. My husband and I usually head out to a movie during the day, after a nice breakfast at home with just the two of us and our cats. I bring my knitting to Christmas dinner, and we open presents in the evening.  It’s Christmas in Saint Paul.

How do you spend Christmas Day? Do you celebrate Christmas, or another holiday? Or not at all?


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