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North Passaic Daily Voice serves Bloomingdale, Pompton Lakes, Ringwood, Wanaque & West Milford
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The Maisano Code: Mommy rings, are ya listenin’?

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

So it’s not even Halloween yet and my sweet little Italian mom who is 86 years old is already calling my siblings and me, rattling off what we need to do for Christmas. It’s like being at the office and getting the “to all department heads” memo. I always pray I’m a CC.

“Mare, if you pass a dollar store, pick up the doilies for the Struffoli.”

“OK, Ma.”

Ring! “Don’t forget the wrapping paper and boxes.”

But it doesn’t stop there.

There’s a list of gifts that she wants my sisters and me to pick up.

Maryann Maisano

Then comes my favorite part:

“Babe, whaddaya want for Christmas?”

Oooooh. Makes me feel all warm and snugly.

So I tell her.

“Why do you want that?” she says. “Don’tcha want a nice sweater?”

So now I have to call my sister.

“Look, when I’m out I’ll get my own gift and give it to you, OK?”


“Because last year I got this shitty orange sweater!”

This is why Christmas Eve with my family requires two bottles — one of Merlot and one of Valium. The season starts so early, you’re fried by the time you get there.

But wouldn’t you know: Just when I think my mom is nuts for making all these calls, I walk into Bloomingdale’s this week and BAM! There’s a Christmas tree. Not a ghost or a witch or a pumpkin. A friggin’ Christmas tree!

Don’t get me wrong: I LOVE the holidays. The change of seasons. The colors. The smells. The bills.

I remember one year when times were tough and I couldn’t afford gifts. I saw that ad for 12 VHS movies for a penny — plus S&H. All I needed to do was buy three more movies the next three years. Bingo! Merry Christmas, everybody! Pass the Struffoli!

So what does my mom say?

“Babe, why did you buy movies? You shoulda got the kids sweaters.”

I’d write more, but my phone’s ringin’.

“Babe, it’s mommy. Didja get the doilies?”

Reviewers have raved about Maryann’s music & standup. She’s opened for Joy Behar and Ray Romano, and has played The Laugh Factory, Broadway Comedy Club and Dangerfield’s. She has a CD out and will be featured on Danny Aiello’s upcoming album, “City of Light.” Judging from the looks of the packed houses, she’ll also be staging plenty more performances with the ITALIAN CHICKS, whose show has been called “part meatball, part cannoli.” For more on Maryann, the group, where they’re performing & how to get tickets, click here: THE ITALIAN CHICKS . Tell ’em CLIFFVIEWPILOT sent you.

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