UUUU From the Presidents
holiday season is upon us I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and are looking
forward to a wonderful Christmas and New Year. Our lodge has a busy month of
December on tap.
dinner is all set for Lucia's on Dec. 3rd, from 12 - 4. I'm looking forward to
this as it will be the first time Debbie & I will be able to attend. The menu and the entertainment will be the
same as last year. I hear that it was a
big success in the past and anticipate the same year. this
Christmas Trolley & Ugly Sweater event on December 9th is sold out. We have
finalized the route with the trolley company and look forward to seeing all
those attending in your ugliest sweaters. The trolley pick up will be at on Memorial School at Winn Street 6:30 pm and drop us off at 9:30 pm in the same location.
As there are two weeks left of the current session for Italian classes,
the time to sign up for the January session is at hand. Don plans on bringing some flyers to the
December meeting and could use help distributing them locally to help aid with
new student enrollment. If you can assist it would be greatly appreciated. The success of the classes
require assistance in getting the word out as this is one of our main
sources of revenue.
There is still time to purchase tickets for the Grand Lodge Calendar
raffle. Tickets are $10.00 a piece. There
are numerous prizes given away and each ticket has a chance to win 35 prizes.
For each ticket we sell our lodge receives $2.00 off per capita. If you are
interested please see me at the next meeting on December 21st, at 7:00 pm, see you there!
Lodge 2223 Italy
781-270-9868, Cell: 781-864-6514
TO THE EDITOR
Newsletter is published monthly from September through June. Newsletter topics will include items of
interest to members, as well as occasional local/general news and information.
A big part of the newsletter being successful is
participation of it's members. If there is something
you would like to see in the Newsletter, please notify:
Deborah Squeri -
Remember this is YOUR newsletter.
UUUU Lodge Officers
President: Dan Squeri
Vice President: Pat Moreno
Treasurer: Ann McGowan
Financial Secretary: Joanne Margi
Recording Secretary: Lola Lombardo
Orator: Marie Patrick
Past President: Don McGowan
Master of Ceremonies: Tony Saia
Mistress of Ceremonies: Shirley
Sergeant of Arms: Fred Fernandez
Faria UUUU Articles
8 Fascinating Facts About
Christmas in Italy
Every country has its own Christmas traditions.
If you’re British, like me, you’re probably elbow-deep in card-writing, tinsel
and fir tree needles by now….and the cat is probably eying up the tree! If
you’re Australian, maybe you’re getting the BBQ ready for the beach on
Christmas Day. And if you’re American you’re probably still getting over
Thanksgiving and Black Friday. But have you ever stopped to wonder where these
traditions came from or what other countries do? Well, here are
8 fascinating facts about in Natale to get
you in the festive mood! Italy
Angel decorations at the Christmas markets
starts on 8 th December
Italians kick off the count down to Christmas with the ,
the religious Immacolata Feast of the Immaculate Conception on
8th December . The day is a national
holiday with banks and some offices closing as the faithful attend church to
celebrate the conception of Mary herself, rather than Jesus. A
cannon is fired from the Castel Sant’Angelo in to announce the opening of the religious
festivities with celebrations including parades, bonfires and fireworks
whilst the Pope holds prayers in Piazza di Rome Spagna, , placing a garland
of flowers on a statue of the Madonna. Rome
The statue of the
Madonna in Piazza Spagna is garlanded in flowers by
the Pope on December 8th each year
This is also the day when many Italians start
putting up their decorations and
fairy lights and many Christmas markets open (although
many are already underway).
Venetians fairy lights in the colonnades of
Piazza San Marco, St Mark’s Square outside Cafe Florian
The presepe or nativity scene is one of the most
cherished parts of an Italian Christmas with presepi popping up all over the
place. The idea of a crib scene actually started in back in the 13 Italy th century when St Francis
a local villager to create a manger to help re-enact the nativity. Since then
nativity scenes have become a big part of Italian Christmas folk art and
handmade Assisi presepi remain a key artisanal
A nativity scene, or presepe,
in a shop window in Forlì, Umbria
Bellaria Igea Marina , for example, on the Adriatic coast of displays over 20 nativities
around town, all created in old wine barrels or Emilia-Romagna . tini
Bellaria Igea Marina in celebrates with 21 barrel Emilia-Romagna presepe around the town – see how many you can find! Source : www.bellariaideamarina.org
And just along the Romagnola
riviera coast there are presepi made from sand
in Torre Pedrera .
scenes in Torre Predrera on the Romagnolo
riviera. Source :
Or if you’re
why not check out Naples , the world-famous street
of the nativity scene makers in the historic city centre where cribs can be
bought all year round. Via San
tree, O Christmas tree
Italians may not
have invented the Christmas tree – credit for that goes to the Germans – but
they’ve certainly taken the idea to their hearts. However, with over
60 million fir trees grown each year in Europe
alone, Italians have come up with some novel new twists on the idea.
Gubio’s world record breaking Christmas tree reaches to the
skies. Source : bellaumbria.net
The people of Gubbio in ,
for example, hold the record for the largest Umbria albero in
the world but no trees are harmed in the making of it as it is constructed
entirely from lights! The giant tree of di Natale Gubbio was
first erected in 1981 on the slopes of
to Mount Ingino honour the town’s patron saint Ubaldo.
Using more than 550 multicolored lights and with a 1 metre
high star on top, the tree stands at an enormous 650 meters high and has held
the Guinness World Record since 1991. The tree lights are switched on each year
on the 7 th December, the eve of the Immaculate Conception.
And this year Pope Francis did the honours firing the
switch via video link from .
The tree is lit from dusk each day until January 10 Rome th , just after
Murano glass craftsmen make their own Christmas tree
On Murano, the
glass-making maestros of
also make their own Christmas tree, but instead of using lights they use glass
to showcase their expertise and craftsmanship. Venice
And the folks
down in the little town of , Calimera , have been known to build their
eco-tree from over 3500 recycled plastic bottles collected by the residents
throughout the year. They believe that the spirit of the festive season obliges
them to be kinder over the coming year, not only to Puglia neighbours
but also to the planet that is home to us all.
Calimera’s 5m tall eco-tree made from recycled plastic bottles
you want a bit of real green life in the house, a lot of Italians opt for
the or Poinsettia pot plant. The shape
of its flowers is thought to represent the star of Stella di Natale whilst the red leaves are the blood
of Christ and the white ones his purity. It brings a bit of Bethlehem colour
into the winter home and you’ll see market stalls full of the symbolic plants
in the run up to celebrations.
I love going
carol singing, don’t you, but did you know the tradition goes back thousands of
years to pagan times? Originally people would sing songs and dance round stone
circles to celebrate the winter solstice. In fact carols were sung throughout
the year at festive times and the word comes from the Latin for a circle dance
or . choraula
churches merged pagan and Christian celebrations and as early as 129 AD
worshippers were singing songs at Christmas services in . But the first Christian carols were
sung in Latin and weren’t very popular. Rome Zampognari bagpipers play to
herald the holy season. Source : Marica
Massaro via WikiCommons
It wasn’t until
the 13 th century that these festive songs really caught
on after St Francis of
introduced nativity songs, sung in the local dialects, to engage parishioners
with the story of Jesus’s birth along with the crib scenes. The new carols were
popular and quickly spread across Assisi Europe. And
today Italians continue the tradition, singing carols in front of nativity
scenes during the 8 days running up to Christmas known as the Novena (16 th to 24 th Dec). Keep
an eye out for the traditional shepherd bagpipers or zampognari , who accompany the carol singers too, especially in , Rome Southern
Italy or ,
heralding the start of holy festivities. Sicily
Christmas bonuses all round!
December is the
month when Italians look forward to the tredicesima , an extra month’s
wages to put towards the cost of Christmas! Many public and private employees
are eligible along with pensioners. Now that’s what I call a Christmas present!
The Yule log
In the the only
yule log we are familiar with is a log shaped chocolate cake. In UK however,
it is traditional in many homes to choose a log, the Italy ceppo , large enough to burn all night through from la vigilia through to Natale . Alternatively some families will have a ceppo for each child in the family. A bowl, the urn of fate, is
often placed on the hearth in front of the log. In some families the bowl
contains a lucky dip of presents for all the family to be unwrapped in the
morning on the 25th. For others like our friend Nonna Violante from Bellaria Igea Marina, the bowl
contains water that she believes will be blessed by the Madonna overnight. Each
member of the family then washes their eyes and face in the water first thing
in the morning to receive the blessing of Mary. What a lovely way to start the
Celebrating with food and family
Across , Italy Natale is a family-centric holiday and a time to celebrate at
home with loved ones. Thousands of Italians travel home to their parents for
the holidays, with the train and autostrada networks bearing the brunt of extra
traffic in the run up to Christmas.
And when it
comes to celebrating an Italian Christmas food is an essential part of the
proceedings. Up and down the country mammas, zias (aunts) and nonnas (grandmothers) spend days preparing pasta, sweet
breads and all manner of dishes for the Vigilia (Christmas
Eve), Natale and the festa di Santo Stefano , otherwise
known as boxing day.
eat fish and vegetables on Christmas Eve, not meat
In line with
most religious festivals Italians typically avoid meat on the day before
Christmas in order to purify themselves. The idea is to eat a clean and lean
meal – il which
for a lot of families will mean fish and vegetables although the evening meal
can run to six or even seven courses before the family heads off to midnight
mass. It’s not exactly what you might call lean eating and we’ve not even got
to 25 cenone – th December yet!
Pannetone – a classic Italian sweetbread eaten at Christmas
lunch often kicks off after the Pope’s midday
blessing of the crowds in St Peter’s Square with (pasta
in broth) tortellini in brodo , followed by eel, roast meats or turkey as
we would in the
and several courses in between. It can last all day with dessert coming in the
shape of sweet breads like America pannetone, biscuits like ricchiarelli and nutty pastries to round off the
merriments. If you’re down south in ,
you might also notice that the table isn’t cleared straight away as the food is
traditionally left for the Madonna and child. With foodie celebrations
continuing through Santo Stefano, New Calabria Year’s eve and
on to Epiphany on 6 th January
you’d better be ready for a food marathon!
Christmas presents, Babbo Natale & La Befana
Babbo Natale decorations at the Mercatino di Natale market in
Bassano del Grappa
The big beardy
guy in red has lots of different names around the world including Santa Claus, Kriss Kringle, St Nicholas or
Pere Noel but here in
we call him Italy Babbo Natale.
But whilst Babbo Natale is
gaining in popularity, he hasn’t traditionally delivered presents until
recently. Instead children are told that their presents come from Jesus or
their parents and are taught to be thankful to their family. Everyone exchanges
presents as a gesture of love and appreciation although increasingly Babbo Natale is taking a greater
present ideas in a Forliì shop window, Emilia-Romagna
present-giving also differs from region to region. Some northern Italians
brings gifts on December 13 St Lucia th . Others wait
for a more traditional figure – La Befana – who is
popular throughout the country although she doesn’t deliver until Epiphany on
the 6 th January.
The story goes
that the old lady, dressed as a witch on a broomstick, was stopped by the 3
wise men asking for directions. La Befana was not
able to show them the way but instead provided food and shelter before the men
went on their way, inviting her to come with them as they left. The old dear
declined saying she had too much housework to do, but later set off after the
wise men with presents for the baby Jesus. According to legend, however, she
never found the child and is still searching, flying around on her broomstick.
So on January 6 th she leaves
presents in children’s stockings including sweets for well behaved little ones
or a piece of coal or garlic for naughty ones. Just think ,
if you’re good you might get presents from Babbo Natale, your parents, and La Befana!
Not a bad haul for a good behaviour eh?
as La Befana and race down the Grand
on January 6th to celebrate Epiphany Venice
In the meantime,
Venetians mark Epiphany with a gondola race, each boat being rowed by a retired
gondolier or Bucintoro rowing club
member dressed as La Befana – if you’re in town,
make sure you head down to the Grand Canal for
a hot chocolate and to cheer the old witches
on in the morning!
Counting down to Christmas with an advent calendar. Source : Adalgisa Serio
So as we count
down to the big day you can see Christmas festivities
vary across the Italian peninsula with many local traditions holding strong for
centuries. If you celebrate it, how do you prepare? Have you written to Babbo Natale yet, put up a tree
or started stocking up the kitchen with enough food to feed the entire family
for the next few weeks? Maybe the Italian ideas sound more appealing than your
usual revelries and you’re heading to presepe for Christmas? Or maybe you
just want some help with Italy how to wish your Italian
friends a happy Christmas in their mother tongue? Why not
leave me a comment with your recollections of happy Christmases gone by. And whether
you observe the celebrations or not, may I take this opportunity to wish you
and yours happy holidays, or Buone feste!
1/2 C sugar
1/2 t salt
3 C flour
1 t baking powder
long finger thick rolls and cut each into little 1 inch sections and form into
balls. Place into Crisco and fry till
ball expands and is golden brown. Cool
and drain on paper towel. Heat 1 cup honey and 1 t sugar. Cover balls with honey and use sprinkles for
1 ⁄ 2 cup sugar
1 ⁄ 4 cup vegetable
3 large eggs
1 1 ⁄ 2 teaspoons lemon extract
2 cups all-purpose
1 1 ⁄ 2 teaspoons baking
1 ⁄ 8 teaspoon salt
3 cups confectioners'
1 ⁄ 4 cup water
1 teaspoon lemon extract
cream together sugar and shortening.
Add eggs and lemon extract and beat well.
baking powder and salt; Mix well.
should be soft and sticky.
With a small
cookie scoop, drop dough onto a slightly greased cookie sheet or baking
stone, spacing them about 2-inches apart.
about 12-15 minutes, or until firm and lightly brown.
cookies from cookie sheet and allow to cool
completely on wire racks.
combine confectioners' sugar, water and lemon extract and mix until
tops of each cookie with a metal spatula.
to dry before stacking.
Store in an
~ NOTE~ you want to freeze
the cookies, freeze unfrosted and frost once thawed. If
submitted by Shirley Moreno
is a compilation of actual Church Bulletins and Service bloopers
Our next song is “Angels We Have Heard Get High”
For those of you who have children and don’t know it,
we have a nursery downstairs
Weight watchers will meet at 7PM at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side
Jean will be leading a weight management series
Wednesday nights. She’s used the program
herself and has been growing like crazy.
This afternoon there will be a meeting in the South
and North ends of the church. Children
will be baptized at both ends.
Tuesday at 4:00PM
there will be an ice cream social. All
ladies giving milk will please come early.
This being Easter Sunday, we will ask Mrs. Lewis to
come forward and lay an egg on the altar.
The service will close with Little Drops of
Water. One of the ladies will start
quietly and the rest of the congregation will join in.
Next Sunday a special collection will be taken to
defray the cost of the new carpet. All
those wishing to do something on the carpet should come forward and do so.
The ladies of the church have cast off clothing of
every kind. They can be seen in the
church basement Saturday.
Thursday night—Pot luck supper. Prayer and medication to follow.
The senior choir invites any member of the
congregation who enjoys sinning to join the choir.
At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will
be ”What is hell?”
Come early and listen to our choir practice.
The Reverend Adams spoke briefly, much to the delight
of his audience.
The eighth graders will be presenting Shakespeare’s
“Hamlet” in the church basement on Friday at 7PM. The
congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.
The 2001 Spring Council Retreat will be hell May 10
Pastor is on vacation. Massages can be give to the church secretary.
Please join us as we show our support for Amy and
Alan in preparing for the girth of their first child.
One night a Viking named Rudolph the
Red was looking out the window when he said, “It’s going to rain.”
His wife asked, “How do you know?”
the Red knows rain, dear.
Noah: What is a
bird’s favorite Christmas story?
haven’t a clue.
Finch Who Stole Christmas.
do snowmen keep their money?
a snow bank.
are you giving Mom and Dad for Christmas?
list of everything I want!
do snowmen like to do on the weekend?
does Jack Frost like best about school?
of Santa Claus?
Comic by Scott
Comic by Scott
Baked Goods Volunteers:
We have two
volunteers for December baking. If anyone else would like to
bring in baked goods that would be wonderful.
definitely remember to have a sign up sheet at the next meeting. Thank you in
advance to those that have signed up, everyone appreciates it!
Burlington Sons of Italy
- Italian Classes
There are two
weeks left in the current class schedule.
Sign ups for the
next session will begin soon if anyone is interested please see Don McGowan for
check out the Burlington Sonds of Italy website at
UUUU Member Happenings:
Please let us
know if you have any special you would like to share with the BSOI.
Upcoming Events/ Ideas
Restaurant Christmas Dinner - 35.00 Per Member 50.00 per guest -
Light Tour & Ugly Sweater Contest - December 9th
@ Memorial School
6:30 - 9:30 - SOLD OUT
- For those attending:>
This will be
limited seating. The trolley is closed and heated, but as it is an old time
trolley it is possible it may be a little chilly. Please dress appropriate (remember the uglier
the sweater the better!). You may bring
a blanket if you feel you will need one.
Pizza & Movie Night
Date - Jan. 2018 Meeting
Mystery Dinner - TBD
- Date & Time TBD<
Just For Fun
everyone a very Merry Christmas &
a Happy New Year....