Among the great memories associated with Christmas, we cannot neglect the wonderful tastes of Christmas. Be it a favorite Christmas cookie, or a superbly cooked roast or casserole, it can trigger a specific thought of Christmas. Maybe it was the gathering of family around grandmother’s table, or a “feast” served  to less fortunate folk in a church hall or cafeteria, it could evoke a sense of Christmas spirit. What is that taste? What was that meal? What was that feeling that came along with your goodwill toward your fellow man? They all reside in that taste of Christmas. Write it!



I have a confession
about my obsession,
I’m a connoisseur you see.
For throughout my travels
I just have to marvel
at the cookies left out for me.

Anzac Biscuits, Speculaas,
Spitzbuben, Palmeras;
with a glass of skim milk are heavenly!
Danske Smakager, Pfeffernüsse,
keep me round and quite obüsse,
filling my parka, perfectly.

Torta Fregolotti and Biscotti,
Kolaczki and Krusczyki;
I eat them all because they’re free.
Nanaimo Bars, Kipferl,
Piparkakut all taste swell
and smell delicious, Golly Gee!But,

I love two cookies both the same,
for me, these two just sing my name.
say them aloud and you’d agree,
Kringlas and Fatt(ig)mann are named after me.
I can’t wait to take my Cookie Pause,
(I can because I am Santa Claus).

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016


An Italian Christmas Eve

In years past, we celebrated
Christmas Eve with our friends
and their family. Big night.
Traditional fish dishes–clams,
shrimp, calamari–and Kathy’s
pasta with braciole, and lemon
chicken. Her sister Roz brought
scrumptious stuffed artichokes.
Grandma Rae cured her own
olives, and I baked pies. One
year, my husband made
minestrone soup. Rave reviews
even from Grandma Rae. Salad
was served last, followed by fruit,
followed by espresso, pie,
and an assortment of pastries
and cookies. If you haven’t tasted
piñoli cookies, you haven’t lived.
Nick played guitar, and the house
was filled with aunts, uncles,
and cousins. What I remember
best is the warmth and laughter.