81°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Merry Fishmas

Christmas Eve for us Italians is all about the fishes. We eat seven different types. My grandmother used to make eels every year, until one year she put one too many eels in the pot, and when the water got hot, one lucky bastard launched off of the others onto the floor. A wrestling match ensued between my poor grandmother and the slimy, toothy eel. Although she won eventually, and the rascal was soon torched on the grill with the rest of his family, she never offered to cook the eels again.

Her sister was left with the job, and she has quite a different style. She snaps their little necks before tossing them into the pot. Although this method entails a lot of risk, especially for the fingers, it prevents any potential drama at a later stage.

After the meal is served, us cousins escape to the basement to avoid the grown ups and their endless interrogations about school. Over the years, we had developed our tradition down there. We used extra gift-wrap to fashion ourselves into a Christmas parade featuring the youngest as Santa, and the rest as the reindeer. A skateboard was decorated and converted into a sleigh. Santa, who was given a ribbon whip, then commanded his team of reindeer up the stairs and into the living room, where we distributed the presents and sang carols.

Part of the fun was how our rickety sleigh always fell apart mid-ride. The rogue reindeers kept busting out of their ribbon harnesses to grab cookies. It was an incompetent parade with good spirits and laughter all around. Although the grown ups had plenty of chances to make fun of our holiday lampoon, this became a beloved tradition, still being reminisced over now that all my cousins can drive cars instead of skateboards.

Read the other three Holiday Stories: Click the following links to read Undercover French, The Little Christmas Strongman and Murphy’s Mischief.

About the Contributor
Stephanie Fail served as the following positions for The Mass Media the following years Opinions Editor: 2009-2010 *Culture Shock Editor: Fall 2010 *The Culture section only lasted from 2010-2011, with Marcus Mersier taking over in Spring 2011.