The Nap Team's Holiday Edition

US Wealth Napolitano |

You forgot Cranberries too?

By: John Napolitano

With so many Christmas memories, I’d like to share one of my favorite parts of the holiday season.  The Music.  Sure, I like Nat King Cole, Johnny Mathis, Bing Crosby and all the classic crooners.  But I really get excited about a few rockers that have outdone themselves.  Specifically, there are four that I’d like to call attention to:

  1. David Bowie and Bing Crosby. Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth. Somehow this song almost always brings a tear to my eye.  The combination of energy and the angst make this tune irreplaceable at my number 1 spot.  Bowie was really freaked out about doing a tune with a classic like Bing – so the arrangers added the peace on Earth segment to appease David and to put him at ease.  The saddest part about this wonderful composition is that Bing Crosby died of a heart attack just 30 days after this live TV appearance.
  2. The Kinks – Father Christmas.  For a boy from NY City or any city for that matter… you gotta love this tune.
  3. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band – Santa Claus is Coming to Town.  The big man (Clarence Clemons) was so good at the “ho ho ho” part that even the boss cracks up during the live performance.  And by the way… Clarence did get a new Saxophone!
  4. The Waitresses – Christmas Wrapping.  This band had a few catchy tunes during their career – but none as cool as this one. What would we do without those convenience stores to get those last minute forgotten items? Don’t forget the cranberries!

Of course this list could be huge… but in the interests of brevity and the holiday spirit, have a fantastic week.



Funny Christmas

By: Alex Weiss

Growing up, my father was a joker during Christmas. I am not sure if he had more joy watching his young children open presents, or getting a good laugh out of us. One year when I was probably 7 or 8 years old, Starter jackets where the thing. As you would imagine, all I wanted was the Boston Bruins pullover version. As I started to unwrap one of the presents, I had a look of confusion on my face as to why my father would give me a 12 pack of soda. After he laughed himself off the chair, he told me to open the box and there it was – the all mighty Starter jacket. Now that my nieces and nephews are almost of the age you can play tricks on them, it may be my turn to start having a little more fun!



Christmas Traditions

By: Tom Fletcher

Ahh, Christmas time is here again.  Despite all the hoopla that goes with the holiday, it sure is a grand time of year. As a child, my favorite memory of Christmas is a musical one. My father was the maestro of the accordion, my brother was proficient with the trombone, I was passable on the trumpet, and my mom had (still has actually) a voice like an angel. We'd pack all of our musical instruments up in our yellow Comet wagon on Christmas Eve and drive over to my aunt and uncle's house in Northbrook, Illinois. After practicing for a while around a piano, we'd head out, ring doorbells and carol from house to house. I'm not sure if people still do this anymore, but I can tell you the neighbors we stalked seemed to genuinely enjoy the entertainment we provided. 

Like most celebrants, our family enjoys some traditions of old, new ones that have been introduced along the way, and a couple of bad traditions that I've personally acquired. Starting with the bad traditions, I'll be one of those guys walking down the street on Christmas Eve with sheer terror in my eyes as I dart from store to store looking for gifts that I forgot to get the previous 364 days. My wife's birthday also falls on Christmas - this adds unusual pressure. By nightfall however, I've filled my shopping lists and as a bonus, acquired enough stocking stuffers to make up for my procrastination. When Christmas morning arrives we will have a mandatory pajama breakfast that includes Panettone, German stöllen (similar to fruitcake), eggnog and my world famous homemade chocolate bread. Then on to presents, more eggnog, Panettone, chocolate bread and stöllen. The evening culminates with a fondue dinner and my wife's birthday celebration, which will be the only singing we will do for the season.



11th Hour Shopping and Luminaries

By: Jenn Kovalski

As Tom Fletcher is darting around Boston getting his last minute gifts for loved ones, I too am sprinting around the south shore frantically shopping for everyone on my list. Every year, I tell myself- not this year, this year I will relax on Christmas Eve, not avoid the store clerks attempt at meeting my gaze to tell me that ‘the store is closing ma’am’. This shopping spree is followed by a quick raid of all the wrapping paper that Rite Aid has left (and is now on sale because their holiday season is done, they are on to Valentine’s Day). When this stressful 4 hour spree is over, my family and I drive over to the other side of town to my Aunt’s house. There is a constant food buffet and coincidentally my twin cousin’s birthday is also on Christmas Eve, so it is also a birthday party. Friends we no longer get to see often stop in to catch up as well as extended family.

When the evening winds down, we all head home. This is truly the best part of the night. On the way home there are several neighborhoods that light luminaries. Driving on the winding, cul-de-sac roads that display them is a sight like no other. Drivers only put on their parking lights (if you put on anything brighter you get honked at), so it stays dark enough to see the lanterns, and with the Christmas music in the car playing, and all of the decorations and lights, it is quite an experience and my favorite part of Christmas.