Christmas Eve & Toys For Tots

Reflecting on Christmas growing up with four older brothers, two parents who wanted ‘our chores’ done yesterday 😂 , used our manners wherever we ventured off to (i.e. friend’s houses, special events, or over various cousin’s houses) as well as help out with Christmas 🎄 Eve preparation for at least 100-120 individuals coming/going throughout each cherished evening. 

Can you relate? I’d love to hear of some of your family traditions and or memories growing up. Please feel free to share.  

Celia, our mother, used to remind me to find two twigs and make them into the shape of a cross. We believed it would keep the snow and or sleet away between the hours of 5 pm-2 am. Over 40 years, our prayers were answered the majority of the time.

The exception was the snowstorm of 1966 a year before I was born. The Upstate New York area (i.e., Pittsford/Rochester where the family lived) was pounded with over 25 inches of snow and snow drifts 10-15 feet high. The city was crippled or shut down for almost a week. Have you ever experienced struggling through a snowstorm? 

La Cucina, ‘the kitchen’ was my mom’s main domain for over 50 years. I can still smell the fresh red pasta sauce as well as the hot sausage and peppers she baked after midnight. Our parties lasted into the wee hours of the morning as Celia and her sisters sang Christmas carols by the basement fire and my father, Joseph played poker with my uncles, brothers, and long-time friends of the family. Sometimes, they would play cards until 4am. 😂

With that being said, my heart breaks for the families in need at Christmas time who can't afford to buy presents for their children because they are struggling to keep a roof over their heads. For years I dreamed of starting a foundation that would give back to individuals who couldn't give back to us! 

The Sarasota Chapter of the Cleveland Browns Backers,  ‘Toys For Tots’ and the LIAC Foundation are giving back via Christmas gifts to families in need throughout the Sarasota, Florida area this holiday season. 

🌎 The Life is a Classroom Foundation is dedicated in honor of Joseph, my father, who passed away from cancer in 2004, and Celia, who passed away Sunday, 5/21/23 from Vascular Dementia. Our foundation gives back to schools & churches globally. 

🌎 *In 2024, we will give back to Guyana, South America  🇬🇾 via orphanages & schools as well. 

#learn #dream & #achieve by following this educator’s team: 👪 

 @mamapattyspeppers 🌶️

 @dr.n.liac.podcast 🎙️ (TikTok )


‘Bloom Where You Are’ - 📖 coming in 2024 

-Coach N.- 

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