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Christmas in Sicily

the year I became pregnant with you.”
Maria’s grandmother explained.
“Before we had trees we would have the
Nativity Scene to celebrate. It was during
the Allied Occupation in 1943 that we began
having trees and decorating them with
candles, but we don’t put them up until the
Feast of the Immaculate Conception” Maria’s
great grandmother explained.
“When’s that Bisnonna?” asked Maria.
“Around December 8th” answered Maria’s Great-
grandmother.
“And on Christmas we get our presents,
right?” asked Maria excitedly.
“Well our tradition is a little different
Maria” stated Nonna.
“How different?” asked Maria.
It was at this time that Maria’s great-
grandfather came into the kitchen for his
traditional expresso and a cookie.
“What are you women talking about? Is it a
female conversation or can an old man get
into it?”
Nonna served her husband his expresso and
his cookie, gave him a kiss, and said, “of
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