Remember your favorite holiday traditions? Visits with special friends, long lost relatives?

It's been a long time for me but I have certain holiday memories that are with me to this day. One in particular always brings back a lot of great memories and triggers a few Facebook reminders from old friends. Every Christmas Eve, for what seemed like forever, my parents would throw a big party. Open to friends, family and neighbors. There were no prerequisites to attend. No invitations were sent. It was simply an annual gig you just had to attend. It started off with a few friends and family but soon morphed into a 150 person event. The only thing my mom demanded was that you come hungry cause she would make enough for a small army...while dad dutifully stocked and manned the bar he and I had built in the Den. Of course the seven fishes always started things off but then came loads of lasagna, meatball sandwiches, cold beer (for those of age) and literally piles and piles of the most delicious homemade Christmas cookies. Mom always seem to have a gift of some sort for almost all of our best friends and neighbors as well. As midnight approached, we'd gather up our friends, Jew and Gentile alike, and head off to midnight mass at St. Alphonsus I think my Jewish friends enjoyed the Christmas carols. We would end the night by going back to my house to find a few hearty souls still partying. Mom would excuse herself and promptly cook eggs, bacon and sausage for anyone still around at 1am. My friends and I would stay up late talking for hours and building ever more memories. It was, and probably remains, the best party ever to be thrown in Dresher, PA. You checked your religious affiliation, political opinions and attitude at the door and just had fun. I'm so blessed that my parents provided me with these incredible memories. My friends and I speak of these gatherings often and cherish that part of our youth. Merry Christmas to all.

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