A Christmas Legacy

My brother Tim sent me this story of a fellow Massachusetts family, which may have otherwise gone unnoticed in our community. I’ve never heard of the Pastorellos; any of our readers heard of them? It’s a beautiful story just made for Christmas.

Son Rekindles Family’s Holiday Tradition

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (WGGB) — John Pastorello made it his mission to rekindle his family’s beloved holiday tradition.
This year, Pastorello brought back his family’s Christmas light display — something they started together nearly 20 years ago.
“I always loved the tradition of always putting all the lights together with my family,” explains Pastorello. “And, I just felt like something I needed to do.”
More than 1,000 Christmas lights and 100 lawn ornaments now adorn Pastorello’s front-and-back yard. He told ABC40 why this event is so significant.
“My dad’s brother was a hemophiliac who got a bad blood transfusion,” explains Pastorello. “So, my dad put up a couple of Christmas lights [in 1989] and was thinking about his brother a lot because he spend a lot of time in hospitals. And as a child in hospitals, he really loved Christmas.”
The holiday season was his uncle’s favorite time of year, which made this Christmas an emotional one.
“It was nice to see them out again — it’s still a lot of work,” says Richard Pastorello, John’s father. “But to see them out, the lights on and everything — it brings back the memories and everything that we did. “We wish that — our kids were pretty young — could see their Uncle Roy because it kinda meant a lot.”
Many of the lawn ornaments are original. Some, came from Richard Pastorello’s home in Belmont — where he grew up.
The planning process started in October and then the Pastorello family worked hard until the last week of November to set up the display.
Not only did Pastorello take on the tradition, but also the hefty $500-a-month electricity bill.
“I actually delivered newspapers for almost a year — and I was trying to collect money, in order to update my electrical and all that,” says Pastorello.

The family will celebrate the end of the holiday season on New Year’s Eve, when the light display will go dim — until next Christmas.

Great Book I Just Read
All the Light We Cannot See [Kindle]
Anthony Doerr
This wonderful fictional story, set against the backdrop of World War II France and Germany, is about Marie-Laure, blind since age six, daughter of a locksmith for the Museum of Natural History in Paris. Parallel to her life story is that of Werner, a bright and curious orphan German boy with a knack for electronics, who happens to listen to radio science programs, told by coincidentally Marie’s great-uncle. The children grow, and as WWII engulfs their countries, each tries to survive–Marie by moving in with her great-uncle, and Werner in the German army– while all the time are on a path of destiny to meet one another. A subplot involves a rare and precious diamond, secreted away by Marie’s father. The conclusion brings all the intricate subplots together magnificently. A national book award finalist, the writing is superb and character development sublime. Sure to be a Hollywood movie someday. Four/five stars.

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