Italian Christmas

In: Miscellaneous

Submitted By vb9tree
Words 904
Pages 4
Christmas… the way it should always be Once a year, when the smells of the old country come alive again, its Christmas time and everyone is bustling with excitement. The children play outside in the brisk December night air, the women in the kitchen with stained aprons, the smell of flour, virgin olive oil, as they constantly brush their hair back in the heat of the kitchens. The men they are outside, their job of setting up tables and arranging chairs now done, they watch over the children while smoking cigars and drinking wine. This is the scene of our Italian Christmas. Through out the night can be heard a language that not only can be heard, but seen as well. Talking with their hands, speaking a language of Italian dialects and broken English. It’s the language you can hear the sing/song word endings of the Roman dialect, the slick imagined well dressed dialect of the northern Milanese, the country chopped words of my calabrese, and the hard earthy of the Sicilian. We are all one under this house, so this combinations of dialects works as one language. This is the language that I understand, it the language that my Nonna tells me she loves me. I stand their transfixed, as a young child of ten, trying to remember something to respond with in this language. While nothing comes to mind, I turn to her and say in English, “I love you too, Nonna” and then place a kiss on her cheek. I can smell her perfume and see the way she’s dressed, how they are all dressed: the men in suits, the women in fancy dresses & heels, and the children like porcelain dolls, all ready to take our annual family photo. My hair is curled, my dressed is pressed, and my shoes have been polished. I wait for the sound of Nonna and Nonna instructing us all to come inside to take a picture. It is difficult trying to fix so many people to stand still and smile. The children sit on the floor, “Indian…...

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