New Jersey Institute of Balance - December 2017

Dec 2017


Going All-In on the Holiday Spirit

When both sides of the family live within 30 minutes of one another, it makes the holiday season much more relaxed and easy. I’m grateful to have nearly all the people that matter most to me nearby. When Christmas comes around, we can easily gather and catch up without anyone having to get on a plane or orchestrate complicated holiday plans.

From decorating the common hallway of our apartment to helping search for the perfect

toys and gifts for the kids, I totally invest myself in the Christmas celebrations. But I’ve already received the best gift of all this holiday season. We recently found out that my wife and I are expecting twins! My wife’s been through a lot with previous pregnancies, but we’re hopeful and excited to welcome the newest members of our family next May. On that note, I’d like to extend a sincere merry Christmas and happy holidays to all my readers. Here’s hoping you get the chance to crack a few jokes with your loved ones and experience a little bit of that vital holiday wonder. —Dr. Michael Russo

with the other side of the family. I’m surprised we’re even able to eat at all after the first night! Though, one of the best parts of Christmas is the morning we have to ourselves. After returning from the Feast of the Seven Fishes and getting all the presents set just right, I’ll finally get to bed at some ungodly hour, like 4:30 a.m. Of course, my 6-year-old daughter will come shuffling in an hour later, asking if we can start the present extravaganza. And while I’m exhausted that morning, it’s nothing coffee can’t fix, not to mention the contagious enthusiasm of my two children. That’s what makes the Christmas season truly special. There’s just nothing like seeing the kids enraptured in the spirit of the season, thrilled beyond belief.

With my big Italian family and my wife’s large clan, you can bet that anytime either side gets together, it’s a serious event. For years, the traditions have been alternating. One family gets us and the kids for the Christmas-Eve feast, while we join the other for the Christmas-Day festivities. This year, it looks like we’ll be with the in-laws on Christmas Eve, digging into a huge variety of foods. Whether we’re there or with my own family, we celebrate the Feast of the Seven Fishes, a classic Italian Catholic tradition that incorporates a ludicrous amount of seafood into the typical Christmas Eve meal. Inevitably, seven fishes turn into 10 or 12 fishes, but I’ve never heard anyone complaining. All in all, it ends up being a three-hour ordeal, the true definition of a feast. The following evening, we do it all again


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