LODGE 2223

December 2017 - NEWSLETTER





Next Meeting Date: December 21,  2017

Meeting Location: Burlington Council on Aging 61 Center Street Burlington
3rd Thursday of the Month @ 7:00 PM

Address: P.O. Box 193, Burlington, Ma. 01803

Email:burlsonsofitaly@yahoo.com  Website: Website: HHHHTUTUTUTUwww.burlingtonsonsofitaly.orgUUUUTTTT

News Editor: Deborah Squeri - Dsqueri@yahoo.com











UUUUFrom the Presidents Desk


Brothers and Sisters, 


The holiday season is upon us  and 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.


Our 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  this year.


Our BYOB 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 Memorial School on Winn Street at 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!     


Ciao for now!


Daniele (Dan) Squeri

President , Burlington Sons of Italy Lodge 2223

Home: 781-270-9868, Cell: 781-864-6514





The BSOI 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 - Dsqueri@yahoo.com


    Remember this is YOUR newsletter.











UUUULodge 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 Moreno

Sergeant of Arms:           Fred Fernandez



Nella Cugno

Jo Parrella

Marie Saia

Jo Schipelliti

Toni Faria

UUUUArticles Of Interest


8 Fascinating Facts About Christmas in Italy

by DreamDiscoverItalia.com


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 Natale in Italy to get you in the festive mood!

Angel decorations at the Christmas markets around Italy

Angel decorations at the Christmas markets around Italy


1.                Angel decorations at the Christmas markets around ItalyChristmas starts on 8th December

Italians kick off the count down to Christmas with the Immacolata, the religious 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 Rome to announce the opening of the religious festivities with celebrations including parades, bonfires and fireworks whilst the Pope holds prayers in Piazza di Spagna, Rome, placing a garland of flowers on a statue of the Madonna.

The statue of the Madonna in Piazza Spagna is garlanded in flowers by the PopeThe 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 celebrate with fairy lights in the colonnades of Piazza San Marco, St Mark's Square

Venetians fairy lights in the colonnades of Piazza San Marco, St Mark’s Square outside Cafe Florian







2.               Presepi or Nativity scenes

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 Italy back in the 13th century when St Francis of Assisi asked 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 presepi remain a key artisanal tradition.

A hand made nativity scene, or presepe, in a shop window in Forlì, Umbria

A nativity scene, or presepe, in a shop window in Forlì, Umbria

Bellaria Igea Marina, for example, on the Adriatic coast of Emilia-Romagna displays over 20 nativities around town, all created in old wine barrels or tini.

Bellaria Igea Marina in Romagna celebrates with 21 handmade barrel presepe around the town - see how many you can find!

Bellaria Igea Marina in Emilia-Romagna celebrates with 21 barrel 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


Sand presepi in Torre Predrera on the Romagnolo riviera

Sand nativity scenes in Torre Predrera on the Romagnolo riviera. Source : http://forchettaevaligia.altervista.org/presepi-di-sabbia-in-romagna/

Or if you’re down in Naples why not check out Via San Gregorio Armeno, the world-famous street of the nativity scene makers in the historic city centre where cribs can be bought all year round.


3. Christmas 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.

Guinness world record largest christmas tree in Gubbio

Gubio’s world record breaking Christmas tree reaches to the skies. Source : bellaumbria.net








The people of Gubbio in Umbria, for example, hold the record for the largest albero di Natale in the world but no trees are harmed in the making of it as it is constructed entirely from lights! The giant tree of Gubbio was first erected in 1981 on the slopes of Mount Ingino to 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 7th December, the eve of the Immaculate Conception. And this year Pope Francis did the honours firing the switch via video link from Rome. The tree is lit from dusk each day until January 10th, just after Epiphany.

The famous Murano glass craftsmen make their own Christmas tree

The famous Murano glass craftsmen make their own Christmas tree

On Murano, the glass-making maestros of Venice also make their own Christmas tree, but instead of using lights they use glass to showcase their expertise and craftsmanship.

And the folks down in the little town of Calimera, Puglia, 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 neighbours but also to the planet that is home to us all.

Calimera's 5m tall eco-tree made from recycled plastic bottles near Lecce, Puglia

Calimera’s 5m tall eco-tree made from recycled plastic bottles

Alternatively if you want a bit of real green life in the house, a lot of Italians opt for the Stella di Natale or Poinsettia pot plant. The shape of its flowers is thought to represent the star of Bethlehem whilst the red leaves are the blood of Christ and the white ones his purity. It brings a bit of colour into the winter home and you’ll see market stalls full of the symbolic plants in the run up to celebrations.

4. Christmas Carols

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.

The first churches merged pagan and Christian celebrations and as early as 129 AD worshippers were singing songs at Christmas services in Rome. But the first Christian carols were sung in Latin and weren’t very popular. Zampognari bagpipers play to herald the holy season. Source : Marica Massaro via WikiCommonsZampognari bagpipers play to herald the holy season. Source : Marica Massaro via WikiCommons

It wasn’t until the 13th century that these festive songs really caught on after St Francis of Assisi 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 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 (16th to 24th Dec). Keep an eye out for the traditional shepherd bagpipers or zampognariwho accompany the carol singers too, especially in Rome, Southern Italy or Sicily, heralding the start of holy festivities.


5.               Christmas bonuses all round!

December is the month when Italians look forward to the tredicesimaan 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!

Looking forward to your tredicesima Christmas bonus?


6.               The Yule log

In the UK the only yule log we are familiar with is a log shaped chocolate cake. In Italy however, it is traditional in many homes to choose a log, the ceppo, large enough to burn all night through from la vigilia through to NataleAlternatively 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 Violantefrom 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 day.








7.            Celebrating with food and family


Across ItalyNatale 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.

Italians traditionally eat fish and vegetables on Christmas Eve, not meat

Italians traditionally 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 cenone – 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 25th December yet!

Pannetone - a classic Italian sweetbread eaten at Christmas

Pannetone – a classic Italian sweetbread eaten at Christmas


The festive lunch often kicks off after the Pope’s midday blessing of the crowds in St Peter’s Square with tortellini in brodo (pasta in broth), followed by eel, roast meats or turkey as we would in the UK or America and several courses in between. It can last all day with dessert coming in the shape of sweet breads like pannetone, biscuits like ricchiarelli and nutty pastries to round off the merriments. If you’re down south in Calabria, 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 Year’s eve and on to Epiphany on 6th January you’d better be ready for a food marathon!

8.    Christmas presents, Babbo Natale & La Befana

Babbo Natale decorations at the Mercatino di Natale market in Bassano del Grappa

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 Italy we call him 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 role.

Christmas present ideas in a Forliì shop window, Emilia-Romagna

Christmas present ideas in a Forliì shop window, Emilia-Romagna

Italian present-giving also differs from region to region. Some northern Italians believe that St Lucia brings gifts on December 13th. Others wait for a more traditional figure – La Befana – who is popular throughout the country although she doesn’t deliver until Epiphany on the 6th 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 6th 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?

Gondoliers dress as La Befana and race down the Grand Canal in Venice on January 6th to celebrate Epiphany

Gondoliers dress as La Befana and race down the Grand Canal in Venice on January 6th to celebrate Epiphany

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

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 presepe, 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 Italy for Christmas? Or maybe you just want some help with 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!


Related imageCOOK’S CORNER



submitted by

Shirley Moreno


Image result for struffoli display






·              1/2 C sugar       

·              3 eggs            

·              1/2 t salt

·              3 C flour

·              1 t baking powder




Roll into 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 decoration.









ANGINETTI (ITALIAN LEMON DROP cOOKIES)from  www.geniuscooking.com


·              12 cup sugar

·              14 cup vegetable shortening

·              3 large eggs

·              12teaspoons lemon extract

·              2 cups all-purpose flour

·              12teaspoons baking powder

·              18teaspoon salt


·                  3 cups confectioners' sugar

·                  14 cup water

·                  1 teaspoon lemon extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. For cookies, cream together sugar and shortening.
  3. Add eggs and lemon extract and beat well.
  4. Add flour, baking powder and salt; Mix well.
  5. The dough should be soft and sticky.
  6. With a small cookie scoop, drop dough onto a slightly greased cookie sheet or baking stone, spacing them about 2-inches apart.
  7. Bake for about 12-15 minutes, or until firm and lightly brown.
  8. Remove cookies from cookie sheet and allow to cool completely on wire racks.
  9. For frosting, combine confectioners' sugar, water and lemon extract and mix until smooth.
  10. Frost the tops of each cookie with a metal spatula.
  11. Allow cookies to dry before stacking.
  12. Store in an airtight container.
  13. ~NOTE~If you want to freeze the cookies, freeze unfrosted and frost once thawed.



Church Bloopers

submitted by Shirley Moreno


This 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 entrance.


·       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 and 11.


·       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.


Rudolph Knows

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?”

“Because Rudolph the Red knows rain, dear.


Christmas Laughs


Noah: What is a bird’s favorite Christmas story?
Mike: I haven’t a clue.
Noah: The Finch Who Stole Christmas.


Will: Where do snowmen keep their money?
Bill: Beats me.
Will: In a snow bank.


Sister: What are you giving Mom and Dad for Christmas?
Brother: A list of everything I want!


Chris: What do snowmen like to do on the weekend?
Chrissy: What?
Chris: Chill out.


Josh: What does Jack Frost like best about school?
John: What?
Josh: Snow and tell.


Teacher: Johnny, define claustrophobia.
Johnny: Fear of Santa Claus?




Comic by Scott Nickel






Comic by Scott Nickel




Baked Goods Volunteers:


Image result for pastry Cartoon

We have two volunteers for December baking. If anyone else would like to bring in baked goods that would be wonderful.


We will 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 sign up. 





Remember to check out the Burlington Sonds of Italy website at



UUUUMember Happenings:


Please let us know if you have any special you would like to share with the BSOI.  



Upcoming Events/ Ideas

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12/3 Lucia's Restaurant Christmas Dinner - 35.00 Per Member  -50.00 per guest


BYOB Trolley Light Tour & Ugly Sweater Contest - December 9th

Pick/Drop off @ Memorial School

6:30 - 9:30  - SOLD OUT


Trolley Info - 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.  


Cultural Pizza & Movie Night

     Date - Jan. 2018 Meeting


Murder Mystery Dinner - TBD


Wine Tasting - Date & Time TBD<







Just For Fun


Image result for Italian Christmas memes


Image result for Italian Christmas memesImage result for Italian Christmas memes















Image result for Italian Christmas memes



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We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas &

a Happy New Year....

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