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Need A Little Christmas? Meet Tom Cousino
photo providedGetting into the spirit of the holiday, Tom Cousino decks his home out in trees of all shapes and colors. If ever anyone needs a little Christmas, they should stop by and talk to Tom.
photo providedWhile the trees bring Tom and the Cousino family great joy, it is the creche that holds for the family the true meaning of the season.
photo providedWhether it is a snowman riding a vintage bike in his flannel best or one of the eight trees in Tom's current line up, the beauty of the season comes alive with the talents and love of a man who keeps a little Christmas in his heart all year long. Truth be told, there are many more trees not up yet!
Tuesday December 10, 2013
By Cookie Steponaitis
Tom Cousino was born and raised in Bristol with his eight brothers and seven sisters and grew up in a household that always treasured Christmas. While Tom vaguely remembers his grandmother, he has many fond memories of his mother baking Christmas cookies, a huge family meal on Christmas and taking shifts to attend Christmas Eve mass or Christmas midnight mass because of the milking. Farming was a way of life for the Cousino family and most of the meat, vegetables and food served for Christmas dinner came from the farm. The family farm was the hub for generations of Cousino and located on what is now Burpee Road just over the rise of the bank from Mt. Abe. Mind boggling to most is the number of combined family members Tom has lived to see come of age. “When my mother passed away in 1991,” shared Tom, “She had 250 grandchildren, 60 great-grandchildren, 43 great-great and now we even have a great-great-great grandchild.”
The Cousino family Christmas tree back in his early days was always a real one that was cut and hauled out by the family. Tom chuckles remembering one holiday when his then married sister Veronica came along, picked her family tree out and cut it down. “I made her haul her tree out herself,” grinned Tom. “And she just kept hauling on it saying how her tree was going to be the most beautiful one there was.” While that long ago family tree might be up for discussion, anyone who has the joy of walking into Tom’s home today would give the honor for beauty to Tom’s trees. Yes, as in plural.
It started several years ago after one Christmas when Tom went to a Walmart Christmas sale. He found the floor model trees at 90% off and an idea took hold. “That first year I bought three trees,” shared Tom. “I got to thinking if people didn’t have a Christmas tree I would buy up some and the decorations as well. If I heard of someone who didn’t have a tree or decorations I would help. It is just part of the season.”
Part of the season indeed and now a part of Tom’s holiday plans. His home is currently festooned with eight trees decorated to perfection using various color schemes that include matching ornaments. Lionel Trains run under them as well and share the home with Santa’s, snowmen, trees, cows and chickens that hold a festive place in a nook, corner or main event in a window display.
Tom believes the crèche expresses the true power of the season and it is central to the display. Tom looks forward to seeing the crèche each year at church and has long made a special place of honor in his holiday spirit for it. While some people tend to downplay the religious affiliations of the season, Tom feels they need to celebrate the spirit of the holiday in its full glory. “People simply need to understand,” concluded Tom. “It is a season for giving and forgiving. If people could learn to forget, forgive and move on the world would be a better place.”
For some people it is the lights, gifts and sparkle of the season. For Tom Cousino it is the beauty of the trees, the fun of sharing and so much more. He keeps a little Christmas in his heart all year long and will be planning for next year as soon as his home returns to normal in mid to late January. Until then Merry Christmas and blessings to all from the heart and home of a man who keeps a little Christmas going all yearlong.
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