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Winter Holiday Fireside Moments: Interview with Maggie Barbieri

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It’s that time of year when the chill in the frosty air brings us indoors to hunker down with thick comforters and mugs of steaming hot chocolate overflowing with fluffy marshmallows.  When holiday music and movies become the soundtrack to our everyday home lives. When we gather ‘round the fire for company, drink, food and love.  When we are celebrating and remembering those we treasure and hold near and dear.  When the real meaning of the season is family – by our DNA or by our heart.  When we reflect and give thanks for all we have. In a nutshell, unconditional love.

I’d like to welcome Maggie Barbieri to share the beauty of the season with us.

Favorite Holiday tradition?  

Christmas Eve with my extended family. This started back when my father worked most holidays and many night shifts on the police department and is still a tradition in my family.

Favorite childhood toy? 

Chrissie Doll.  Remember her?  You could pull her hair out of the top of her head and make it waist-length.  Unfortunately, my doll’s hair got tangled soon after I received her and my cousin suggested I wash her hair in olive oil.  Suffice it to say that wasn’t the right response to a tangled head of fake hair.

Favorite childhood game?  

Memory… the matching game where you turn cards over and try to get a pair to match.  My brother called it “Mem-bree” and that’s what we still call it in my house today.

Snowball fight or making snow families? 

Neither… I try to stay inside if at all possible.  I’m not what you would call a “nature girl.”

Sleigh rides, sledding, or skiing? 

See answer above.

Favorite holiday song? 

“Last Christmas” by Wham.  What can I say?  I’m a child of the eighties. 

 Favorite holiday movie? 

 The Holiday with Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz.  Also love Charlie Brown Christmas.  When Sally says “all I want is what’s coming to me… all I want is my fair share,” the whole family bursts out laughing.

Favorite holiday story to read? 

The Night Before Christmas–is there anything better?  If so, I haven’t found it.

Snow on holiday eve or just a chill in the air? 

Oh, definitely a chill.  I loathe snow.

Most memorable holiday memory? 

The year my brother-in-law dressed as Santa and ran around the back yard so that the little ones would have a Santa sighting. Unfortunately, he looked like a red-suited ninja and scared the heck out of all of them.  It took close to an hour to get everyone to stop crying.  (Even me.)

Did you eat popcorn balls as a kid? If you did, do you still? 

No…not sure why.

Real tree or artificial? Green or white? 

Real.  Green.  Hopefully with the soft needles, not the ones that cut your fingers. I still don’t know what they’re called or how to avoid them.

What do you do holiday eve? 

Party with extended family.  I’m the entertainment.  My nieces can’t believe that I know all of the words to popular songs or that I can “Dougie.”

What are your holiday plans this year? 

The usual… Christmas Eve with my side of the family, Christmas Day with my husband’s side.  It’s all great.

 What’s the one holiday dish your family can’t go without? 

 Sweet potatoes with melted marshmallows on top.

Please share a holiday recipe. 

Honest to goodness, I don’t really have one.  We are somewhat untraditional in that we eat Italian food on the holiday so I throw some canned San Marzano tomatoes over some sautéed garlic, basil, and red pepper flakes and then throw some sausage in on top of that.  I don’t think that counts as a true recipe; more of a pot luck kind of thing.

Holiday party tip? 

Gotta have good music… and wine.

Favorite holiday decoration? 

The gold spray-painted ornament that is covered with uncooked macaroni; my daughter made it in preschool.  She’ll be 18 in two months but it still makes me cry when I take it out of the box every year.

Please share some magical holiday memories? 

My youngest sister was born on December 20th and my mother fought tooth and nail with her doctor to get released before Christmas Eve; this was back in the day when you stayed in the hospital for close to a week after giving birth. That Christmas, 1969, was really memorable because we had a new baby under our tree… literally.  That is something I will never forget.

Wrap, gift bag or bow & go? 

It depends how far behind on wrapping I am!

Gifts or gift cards? 

Both.  I have some teens and tweens to buy for in the family and find that cold, hard cash (in the form of gift cards) really makes them happy.

Do you eat fruitcake? 

Not if I can help it.

Do you head to the movies on the 25th

No…usually driving to a relative’s house.

What’s in your stocking?  *wink* 

Right now?  My size 9 foot.  Come Christmas morning?  Who knows.

What do you want in your stocking? *saucy wink aka swink* 

Hmmm… would world peace fit in my stocking?  No?  Then a big chocolate bar.

Do you head out on the 26th into the madness to exchange or shop for anything? 

Nope… it’s back to work.  I have a book due every New Year’s Eve so I have to get cracking.

Thank you so much. 

Thank you!  Have a wonderful holiday season!  Maggie xo

Happy Holidays from my house to yours!

Visit Maggie’s website.

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About Diane Morasco