Traditional Christmas foods worth the wait in line

HADDON HEIGHTS, N.J. - December 24, 2010

The two hour wait to buy Italian specialty pastries started at 2:00am at the South Philadelphia location, but was made a little sweeter by free cannoli and coffee.

"We come here every year. He grew up in South Philly, and the kids love it here, and they let you make your own cannoli in line. It doesn't get any better than this," said Janet Zanchi.

Many come year after year, but this was Denise Shuler's first visit to Termini's and probably not her last.

"We're definitely getting cannoli. I don't know what else, but we are definitely getting cannoli. Everything looks so good, so I have to kind of narrow it down. I can't take one of everything," said Denise Shuler.

For many, seafood is the dinner of choice on Christmas Eve with many Italian Americans traditionally celebrating the seven fishes dinner or some variation.

"We've done seven in the past, and that's a meal that lasts about five to seven hours. But lately we've been doing three to five fishes," said Arthur Buchberg.

At John's Friendly Market in Haddon Heights, New Jersey, customers crowded the aisles buying groceries for the holiday dinner. Many say they like patronizing the small store especially at Christmas.

"John's Market is loyal to the community, and his service to the community is outstanding," said Rob Slemmer.

"It is a tradition for me. It brings back a lot of memories," said Bettiann Young. "I'm buying the turkey, some last minute things, some celery and maybe some pies if they have any left. I didn't order one, so I'm hoping."

And so after a day of standing in long lines and spending lots of cash, it's time to enjoy all the efforts and the traditions for a Merry Christmas.

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