Last night, as I was getting in bed and just a few minutes before I actually fell asleep, I began to think about the holidays. I asked myself, what do I remember the most about the holidays, and especially Christmas? My thoughts were very short. Hey, I am getting old and I fall asleep very easily especially if the TV is on. But I got to thinking about getting up at the crack of dawn with my brothers and hitting the streets to go skating. Growing up in a different country we had different traditions. All the kids in the neighborhood would get up at 4:00 AM and skate till around 5:00 AM. Then we would get ready to attend mass. The neighborhood’s church encouraged the kids to skate to church. We would have hot chocolate and pastries until it was time for the service. This took place every day from around December 15th through Christmas Eve. The mass had a name, the Rooster's Mass or Misa de Gallo. I guess because roosters crow at the crack of dawn.
Why am I telling all this? Well, because I remember seeing the milkman at 4AM going from home to home delivering milk while we were skating. From what I understand, people used to leave empty bottles on the front porch with a hand-written note of what they wanted for the day. The milkman wore white uniforms and drove funny looking delivery trucks. When I was growing up, we were more modernized. The milkman delivered the milk in the same cardboard, waxy-coated containers we are using today along with the newspaper and bread that was made that same morning. Needless to say those days are gone.
My wife and I can only hope that the traditions that our children are experiencing now, will invoke blissful memories of their holidays that they will treasure for years to come.