(A tradition in its own right by this point, we are glad to re-publish this note for all the new ItalianNotebook readers who have signed up in the past twelve months.)
In the Italian-American neighborhood where my grandmother grew up, the folks would wish each other Auguri (best wishes) di Santo Sgeveno around this time of year.
“Come again? Santo who?”
Think about it… You get the day off from work and the kids are off from school. Everyone (as in the ENTIRE family) gets together at home and cooks special this-holiday-only food all day. There is sheer pandemonium in the kitchen. Then you sit down together with the family and friends for hours on end and eat the special food and desserts until you’re all about to keel over. It’s obviously a Saint’s festa (religious holiday) of some sort.
“Uhh, right.. but I didn’t quite catch the saint’s name…”
“Santo Sgeveno, no?!”
“Hmmm… doesn’t ring a bell, sorry.”
“Me neither! But everybody here in America keeps wishing us and each other Happy Saint Sgivin. Bah… must be some important santo Americano that we didn’t have back in Italia.”
Long story short, enjoy your meal and your time with family and friends, and allow us to extend our warmest…
…Auguri di Santo Sgeveno to you all.