Forced to leave a life he loved as a schoolboy soccer sensation in pre WWII Italy, Gino Gerardi rebelled when he got to America. He dropped out of high school, drifted from one low-paying job to another and gambling quickly replaced soccer as the passion of his life. Then he fell in love.
Gino adores his wife and three young sons but he still cannot resist the lure of a card game. Just one week before Christmas in 1956, Gino has once again lost his entire paycheck playing poker. In an effort to salvage the Holiday for his boys and save his crumbling marriage, he borrows money from the most notorious loan shark in Brooklyn. What he's being forced to do to repay the mobster sets up the Yankee Stadium setting for a Christmas Day surprise ending to this compelling tale.
Not Just Another Christmas is presented in the narrative style as a connected series of the childhood memories of Gino’s youngest son. Now fifty-eight years old. Jimmy Gerardi’s poignant recollections of those seven crazy days are often hilarious and sometimes quite irreverent. These detailed flashbacks vividly recapture the powerful impact of family, the Catholic Church, and organized crime on the daily lives of the millions of people who lived in big-city Italian-American neighborhoods during the 1950s.