Christmas Chez 25 Alston Ave


It would be easy to recall on Christmas morning my excitement in seeing all of the presents, superbly wrapped and displayed in front of our fireplace, with Christmas/Holiday cards on the mantle framing the scene. What 10 year old wouldn’t love that?  And I loved our Christmas Eve Dinner, which was a redux of Thanksgiving.  But if memory serves, I think Mom added mincemeat pie to the dessert offerings.  I was sure to have watched The Christmas Carol… I preferred the Reginald Owen version back then, although I can recall that Paul felt the Alistair Sim version was superior (and I switched my allegiance to Sim decades ago).

Then, something else that was special for me in 1960.  Christmas was a time when the both of you would have returned home from college. Our home just ‘lit up.” There were jig-saw puzzles to do, knock-hockey to play, and that maze game with the steel ball.  I’m sure that your friends might have been in and out.  But for sure, for me… 10 years old at the time, the fact that you were home added to my anticipation of December 24, and December 25.

And then, {SPOILER ALERT: this is critical} there was the Christmas “dividend”.  Dad would have organized a Christmas Party for Chipp’s New Haven tailors at the loft on Eld St.  Mommie Soph was placed in charge of marshalling the “suppliers” for the festivities.  Further, and this is the dividend part, Mommie Soph would return home, après party, with the leftovers which were consigned to the cool of our porch… and it was this “buffet” that provided the fodder for our grazing on Christmas Day.  In my teen-aged years I learned that a cold slice of Pepe’s Pizza for breakfast is hard to surpass.

The menu for Christmas Day, 25 Alston Ave:

Pepe’s Pizza (or, more appropriately: Apizza)

Deli, from M&T

Pastries from Lucibello’s

Addendum: a case of Scotch Whisky was provided for Mr. Toplitsky, the head of the Tailor’s Union. Not part of our “dividend”… Dad only had Chivas Regal for 25 Alston Ave.

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