The whole week my Mom was busy
			for the big day.
			Cleaning the house from top to 
			bottom dusting every corner....
			Baking cookies, those delicious
			stuffed with walnuts, dripping with
			syrup that she had piled up on the 
			platter, also getting ready the best 
			linens and china for the table, 
			hanging up the good curtains on 
			the clean windows. 

			My father was ordered around
			going to the stores to buy all the 
			necessities for the special dinner.
			Traditional things, whose smells told
			everyone it was Christmas time.
			Chestnuts for stuffing and roasting,
			pine-nuts for stuffing, tangerines
			whose smell I still remember, other
			fruits and nuts. They were all
			special for the Christmas day.

			My brothers(I had three) kept pace
			with their chores, putting  away 
			all their stuff that was laying around 
			the house throughout the year.
			Their good suits and shirts
			were all ready for days ahead,
			along with their brand new pair 
			of shoes.

			I was not given any chores to do, 
			but kept under their feet, enjoying 
			every minute of this hustle and bustle,
			I also got new of everything.
			Dress, shoes, a new coat on account
			I was growing up  fast and it was
			an opportunity for my Mom to 
			replace my old good clothes with 
			new ones that she bought last week.

 			My whole family kept busy, no one 
			could find an excuse to skip their 
			chores, because we were all looking 
			forward to Christmas Day.
			So, with my Mom at the head  the 
			whole family did everything she asked 
			and more. All had to be perfect without
			forgetting anything that would have 
			ruined Christmas day.

			Those days, our tradition was to go 
			around with our friends as a group to 
			our relatives' and friends' houses,
			knock on their door and ask the person
			who answered if we had permission
			to sing the Christmas song, If the 
			person said yes, we sang the 
			Christmas song wished them Happy
			Christmas day and got the traditional
			tip, that was cookies they had baked
			or some money.

			At the end of the day, the cookies
			and money was divided among the
			group and all came home to take a 
			nap, so when we went to the church
			for the midnight mass we could stand 
			on our feet and not feel sleepy. That 
			was our  activity, the Day before Christmas.

			Christmas day, we got up early with 
			anticipation of wearing all of our
			brand new outfits and went out to 
			friends and relatives to show off
			the new stuff we got and of course
			brag that ours was the best.
			Then at launch we all gathered around
			the decorated table with the goodies 
			and enjoyed the delicious dinner 
			my Mom and Dad put together for us.
			This is what CHRISTMAS meant to
			me when, I was little...Ellie

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