My fondest childhood memory out of many would probably be Christmas eve night at my Aunt Vicky's house. She lived on a quiet street in Wall, and surrounding her house were several others that resembled hers. Her neighborhood was the one you went to on Halloween because you knew you would leave with big candy bars. Through the eyes of a child, her house looked like a mansion. When you walked inside, you could smell all the food cooking, you could hear everyone talking, laughing, and sharing things to one other. You could see all the decorations, it was truly Christmas.
She had the stairs that have two sides on them and when you got upstairs, you could overlook the foyer, or the living room. Her ceilings were enormous so in her living room stood at least a 12 foot Christmas tree, decorated with the most beautiful lights and ornaments. Underneath the tree lay countless amounts of presents for everyone in the house that night.
For dinner, there was so much food you could feed an army. Still to this day, everyone in my family cooks that way. Even though my Aunt Vicky was hosting and probably did not need more food, everyone brought at least one item. The dinner table was a long rectangle where one person sat at the head of each side, and the rest on the long sides. My grandfather always sat at one head and my Aunt on the other. The table was filled with so much stuff, being a child and picky nonetheless I barely ate anything besides the stuffed artichokes, and they are still one of my favorites. .
After dinner it was tradition that all the men in the family cleaned the dishes and the table while the women got to relax, of course that didn't always happen. After everything was cleaned up, they would prepare for dessert, it was served after the best part of the evening, opening our gifts. We didn't have just one Santa, we had two. My Uncle Tony and Uncle Jack would dress up in Santa suits and sit in a giant chair.