It sounds like Santa was copping out of making his 2009 Rounds in Bensonhurst, but after 25 years of starting out of Bay 40th Street up 86th Street to get to 18th Avenue and 84th Street where my grandchildren anxiously await Santa, then traveling back to Bay 47 Street to greet another household of kids, the weatherman was the Grinch this year and Santa could not make it!
The weekend eve before Christmas Eve we were hit with heavy snow.Now if I had my trusty reindeer and Rudolph, I could have made my appointed Bensonhurst rounds again this year with no sweat;but driving was dangerous, walking on the treacherous black ice was causing many falls and parking was especially nil on all the snow piled streets. No! Mrs. Santa convinced everyone at my nephew Anthony’s house that Santa could not make the visits he usually did.In previous years I opted to leave the Christmas Eve feast so that I could drive home with my elves, get dressed in my apartment and then Santa would Ho, Ho, Ho, from destination to destination, cheering up not only the houses we visited but pedestrians and cars in the street with my Ho, Ho, Ho, and Merry Christmas.
Before that, my Santa garb was brought up into their bedroom where I would magically change into Santa then leave to visit the other children; then return to play Santa for my nephew’s kids. Now I was to do the same for my nephew’s grandchildren Joseph and Anthony. Before I forget, even though I singled out my nephew Anthony in this column, his wife Donna is the driving force that makes them a true dynamic duo, especially when it comes to parties, functions, affairs and decorations. Not to mention the food and goodies they meticulously prepare. Anthony is the only one in my family that can recreate the Christmas goodies my mother use to make, although my wife Sharon has learned to duplicate my mother’s sauce down to perfection.
All though most Italian houses celebrating Christmas Eve have pretty much the same glutinous menu of seven types of fish/seafood with non-stop eating of antipasto with olives of various shapes, flavors and colors, mozzarella balls, artichoke hearts, caponatta, provolone chunks, roasted peppers, pepperoni and salami, lard bread followed by baked clams, linguini with clam sauce, linguini with marinara sauce, octopus salad, scungilli, calamari stew, lobsters, fried shrimp, roast pork, rice balls, broccoli, string bean salad, assorted breads, frizzelli,anchovies, pickled mushrooms, fried carduna, cheese cake, cacciteddi, cubarta, fresh fruit, roasted chestnuts, wines, sodas, beers, chocolate covered graham stars, dates, figs, nuts, mashed potatoes with mozzarella, pastries and what ever deserts guests brought. Enough food is served on Christmas Eve at Italian houses that you can feed the hungry of the entire world with it. We Italians sure love to eat!
So this Santa is usually very happy to get off the dinner table to change, as well as digest a bit, before going on his appointed rounds. But this year’s weatherman’s present put a snafu on Santa, who ate so much that I was sort of glad I didn’t have to go Ho Ho Ho-ing.However next year, conditions and weather permitting, Santa will ride again. Ho, Ho, Ho!
A healthy, happy and prosperous New Year to all!
Screech at you next year!