No time like #theholidays to let nostalgia run wild and free. We asked a few of our favorite bloggers to share holiday memories with us – from the happy to the “oh no.” Here are their stories.
#BESTOFTIMES #WORSTOFTIMES #CHARLESDICKENSAMIRITE
When I was around 5 years old, I was constantly begging my parents for a puppy, to the point where it was extremely annoying. Anyway, around Hannukah, my parents went on a trip to NYC (we were living in Montreal at the time) and they called me to tell me that they got me a puppy! I was so excited. I remember waiting at the door for them to arrive. My parents walked in with this huge cardboard box, and I wondered how the puppy could breathe in that thing. I opened the box, and inside was a toy puppy with a remote! I was HYSTERICAL, bawling my eyes out. My parents were upset because apparently they waited in line at FAO Schwartz for hours to get me the thing! I tried to make the best of it, but all the dog did was go forward and back and then after a while, it just broke down!
Turkeys, gravy bowls, pounds of stuffing, and an intense appetite equals Thanksgiving. That’s any person’s mentality. That was 22-year-old Jeanne who-just- got-her-first-apartment’s mentality. I wanted to have a nice Friendsgiving potluck dinner at my apartment — to have everyone together, commemorate beautiful memories, while making new ones in my new home. I remember working so hard on my turkey. I had never made stuffing before, nor had I ever roasted anything in my life – besides myself down the Jersey shore in 89 degree weather.
My friends came, dressed up for the occasion! One by one coming into my quaint little space. One by one admitting their dish either got burnt, messed up or forgotten. I was extremely hopeful and ever so reliant that my turkey would come out decadent.
NOPE. More like burnt. We had a good laugh about the entire series of unfortunate events and ended up walking to the nearest McDonald’s. Later that night, in between the laughter, the commemorations, the warmth each one of us extended towards each other through words, hugs and companionship, I realized something. I realized that it wasn’t about the turkey or the stuffing or the intense appetites (or maybe it still was). It was more about having each other in one space, gathered. Home wasn’t my quaint little four falls anymore. Home was in us, gathered together during that holiday.
Over the years, my family has moved further and further away from each other, so holidays have become more and more “empty.” Every year, up until I was 23, we would go to my Tio Sal’s house in Brooklyn on Christmas Eve for the traditional 7-course Italian Fish Feast — more food than you could possibly imagine! Food has always been a huge part of our family culture and now that my sister and I have developed our cooking skills, we are able to contribute much more. This year, my sister, Gabby, and I will be hosting Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner for the first time. Just like with my business, Jersey Girls Food Tours, it’s really important that we support local businesses (especially farms!) as much as possible when shopping for ingredients. My boyfriend is from Germany and doesn’t have family here so he’s always so impressed by the abundance of food at the Aron table. I can’t wait to create the menu and spend the holidays with him and the family.
#FOODFEAST #SHOPLOCAL #ITALIANSCOOKBEST #ITALIANHOLIDAYS
My husband and I, dating back to when he was my boyfriend/fiance, started this celebratory tradition where we would open our gifts during the wee hours of the night between Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. You see, at our households, Christmas Eves and mornings are filled with lots of family and friends. It is all about eating and celebrating. So, given that we both come from very close knit families, getting a moment alone is nearly impossible (not that we would want it any other way). But in an attempt to have our own special celebration, we began opening our gifts during the only time we had to ourselves. The tradition usually begins with us splurging on a really nice bottle of wine or champagne, sitting around the tree like two small children anxiously awaiting for Santa’s arrival, and opening our gifts. It’s amazing to reflect back on the past year and just have a private moment! I must say it is certainly one of my most favorite holiday memories, and I look forward to it every year!
I don’t usually call a place I live #homesweethome until I have made it my one stop shop for most things in my life…especially dessert. That specific dessert, when in Hoboken, happens to be cannolis. When I first moved to Hoboken, my fiance and I were on the hunt to bring some of these authentic Italian treats to our out-of-town parents’ houses for the holidays. We didn’t feel like fighting the Carlo’s lines with our IDs, so we wandered around looking for another bakery. A long walk uptown found us at Giorgio’s, on 12th and Washington, which looked closed and a little run down, but the door to the shop was open. There was no one inside to greet us, but eventually, after we stood there with our eyes and noses glued to the pastry case, a little old Italian man [Giorgio] came to take our order. Lo and behold the most delicious cannolis we’d ever tasted (including a hint of orange zest for flavor), and we were hooked. Now, it’s a tradition that we wait on the long lines at Giorgio’s on Christmas Eve (totally worth it) to bring #chrismukkahcannolis to our
families every holiday season.
About the Author/s
The New Jersey Digest is a new jersey magazine that has chronicled daily life in the Garden State for over 10 years.