December 3, 2012 Christmas Photo A Day


Pizza from Denino’s the last time we ate there.

An elf’s work is never done.  But an elf’s work is never free….

This year, consider a holiday gift to StatenStrong or Project Hospitality, or the Red Cross or simply send Denino’s Pizzeria and Tavern on Staten Island, New York a Thank You Christmas card this Christmas.

Remember all those who currently have so little, but so MUCH for which to be grateful.

Denino’s is a local pizza joint on Staten Island. (My hometown…my first 37 years of life.) A hole in the wall in the old ‘hood, in the same location since 1937.  Darkish, plainly decorated, and ALWAYS crowded. A place I used to be able to walk to, if I really put my mind to it. (And sometimes, I DID, because Ralph’s is across the street— a slice and an ice? Worth the walk.)

Since Sandy, they have been running Operation Pizza Pie (sometimes Operation Pasta Fagoili, for something different on a cold night) for the many, many folks left homeless and heatless. And if you go to their website, there is nary a mention of it.

Low key, neighborly —Wow, those are some busy elves. On Thanksgiving, they got together with StatenStrong and St. Charles Parish and served 1100 meals for the displaced.

If you like their Facebook page, they do talk about where and when and what they are serving, and about the organizations and other small businesses that are chipping in food and money to feed the displaced.

They are only one of many places and people that are helping Staten Islanders and those in New Jersey and other parts of New York deal with their new reality.

Christmas isn’t about THINGS, it’s about people; connections to each other, and love. Helping each other, and hugging each other. Feeling a part of a whole. Being wrapped in the warmth and love of those around you, things become secondary. One of my favorite Christmas songs illustrates that pretty well….Old City Bar, by Trans Siberian Orchestra.

Sadly, there are many who for the first time will have to discover this fact. And with the help of families like the Denino’s, it is possible that this may be a wonderful Christmas anyway, where untold measures of joy and appreciation for the little things take on monumental significance.