Growing up and spending the majority of his life on Staten Island, Frank Camuso has seen quite a few Christmas’ on the island. From the hustle and bustle of Christmas shoppers crowding into the Staten Island Mall, to the kindergarteners walking home holding the Christmas cards they made in school that day – the more things seem to change, the more they truly stay the same! As business owners, Frank Camuso and his long-time partners are always excited to bring in the holiday season. While Christmas might mean one thing to the rest of the 5-boroughs, to Staten islanders like Frank Camuso it means family and food! And restaurant-goers pour into their dining room to enjoy some of the city’s best Italian cuisine – a staple in the Staten Island Christmas season! More than any other borough, Staten Island is truly about family, and that makes holidays like Christmas especially important. A time to be thankful for all that we have and spend time with the people we care for the most, our family and close friends.
Over the last few years Frank Camuso has seen a number of changes on Staten Island as well as himself, and he is excited for the direction it seems to be going. The Christmas spirit was seemingly lost throughout many of his adult years, but as he gets older Frank Camuso is learning to enjoy the things that truly matter, like spending time with loved ones during the holidays. For years he was known as a workaholic and 16-20-hour days were not unheard-of, especially around the holidays. As Frank Camuso and his wife Christine get older, and see their kids begin to grow up too, and start families of their own, it makes them want to instill these ideas in their children – so that important family traditions can continue to live on. And hopefully stand the test of time, to be passed down for generations to come.
The Christmas spirit is something that is ever-present on Staten Island, and its visible wherever you go. One of the hallmarks of Christmas on Staten Island is the beautifully lit-up homes, that have become a tourist attraction in themselves. New York City, in general, is famous for its sprinkling of show-stopping Christmas decorations and houses across the 5-boroughs take it to the next level. And Staten Island is no different! Growing up Frank Camuso can remember begging his parents to take him down the street to visit one of the many houses with the most ornate of Christmas décor, and lights that would put Yankee Stadium night games to shame. And as the years have worn on, technology has improved, and homeowners have entered into a bit of a competition for bragging rights – the lights have only gotten better, the inflatable Santa’s have gotten taller, and Santa’s reindeer actually move! Frank Camuso and his wife Christine are so excited to see the look on their kids, nieces and nephews faces when they enter into a world full of Christmas wonder and excitement, or they learn the significance of that well-lit nativity scene in someone’s front yard. With every passing year, as we all grow older and older it may be hard for us to remember what truly matters. But this Christmas season, take a cue from Frank Camuso and his family and try to bring back the traditions that have made you and your family smile over the years – no matter what they might be. While every family is different, and some might celebrate the holidays differently from others, one thing we all have in common is the love and care we have for our family and close friends.