Each and every year of his life, Frank Camuso, can remember the fondness he, his friends, and all his family shared for Christmas and the holiday season in general. From the years of their youth, having a few weeks of from elementary school meant snowball fights in the front yard, going sledding in the park, and the excitement of getting everything you wanted for Christmas that year! And while the childhood was great for Frank Camuso, his teenage years are an even better memory. Finally, being able to drive and still being off from high school for Christmas break? Probably the best gift in itself for any teenager excited to live and explore the world on their own. Going ice skating with the girl you like and a group of friends, to finally being able to venture over the Verrazano to go into the city on your own – no smelly ferry ride, no parents, no chaperones – just you and whoever you could convince to join you to trek into Manhattan in the midst of some of the worst snowstorms any of you had ever seen. And while the newly found freedom was great for a young adult like Frank Camuso at the time, the true highlight of Christmas, New Years, and the holiday season in general, has got to be the amazing time spent with the family each and every year.
Christmas is an important time of year for most of those in the US and across much of the world. And while Frank Camuso and his wife Christine, do everything they can to make Christmas mean just as much to their children, nieces and nephews, its difficult to get into the Christmas spirit without at least a little bit of snow on the ground! For years now, we have been warned about global warming, and with each warning Al Gore gives us, the deafer ears it seems to fall on. Well, when you wonder where the snow went this year, and why Christmas just doesn’t feel like it used to, you can chalk it up to the change in our planet’s climate. Without getting to deep on the global warming aspect of things, this Christmas, Frank Camuso, his wife Christine and their entire family just were lacking on that same special feeling that has been so infectious throughout the years. I mean they tried everything to bring back the nostalgia of years past – the whole family was together sipping egg nog, the fireplace and the gorgeous tree competed as the only two light sources in their spacious living room, but something still seemed to be off. And it wasn’t just the adults, it was the kids too. While Frank Camuso can remember every Christmas throughout his youth was spent running around the backyard with visiting cousins and his friends from around the neighborhood. The sound of children’s laughter filled the air, interrupted only by the thud of a well packed snowball against the back of a friend scrambling to get away, only to give way to more laughter and clear enjoyment. Until you hear that always sobering sound of someone’s mom calling all the kids in to get cleaned and ready for family dinner. The kids at this years Christmas were glued to their phones, and there was laughter, nor what seemed like actual enjoyment. There was a blue light emanating from the hands, tattooed onto the face of children as young as preschool age. And when they were called for dinner, there was no loud groans, no “awwww mom” sounds, not even a “5 more minutes”. Just silence, and an awkward shuffle towards the table, phone still in hand, thumbs moving side to side, and up and down. And while dinner was fine, and Frank Camuso and his wife enjoyed catching up with the family, there was still a lot to be desired. And the night ended in quite introspection, wondering if Christmas had changed or if they had just gotten older. Christmas was nowhere near what it used to be without the snow.