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Christmas past, present, and future

By on December 24, 2014
Dimitri C. Michalakis

Dimitri C. Michalakis

Christmas is a time to celebrate the birth of Christ and new hope in the world and it’s also a time to spend time with family and see kids rejoice not only in their presents but in the warmth of their family.

Our cover story on manufacturer and investor nonpareil Michael Psaros is heartwarming not for the profits his firm steadily brings to its investors but for his sense of family and the values he learned from them that motivates so much of his business thinking. “What I owe to my family, and the All Saints community, is that they taught me filotimo. And if you run that parallel directly to my business at KPS, we are firm that has a value system. We are firm that understands we have obligations, and there’s nothing more important to our firm than our professional reputation—to onoma mas.”

He still has a house in his old hometown of Weirton, West Virginia and he still has a connection with his old church of All Saints where his cousin Nick Latousakis is parish president and he still refers to what his Papou Mike and Yiayia Evgenia taught him about life.

It was heartwarming to me because this holiday season we are cleaning out my parent’s old home before we get ready to sell it. It was the house they lived in for nearly forty years and where all their memories—and our memories—are stored. I went with my daughter Ashlyn, I spent the day with my nephew Nick and his wife JoAnn, who did such a great job of sorting out and preserving everything for the rest of us to see and decide what we wanted to keep. I wanted to keep most of everything and when Ashlyn said in my dad’s old office, “Maybe you want to keep the whole office?” I literally wanted to keep the whole office—his desk, his chair, his bookcases, his Greek and English Royal typewriters, his boxes of carbon paper, even his extra-large worry beads and the tooth of some grandchild that he kept in one of the desk drawers in a Baggies.

I can’t, however, our own home doesn’t have the space, and I wonder if creating a shrine to my father’s memory (he passed away three years ago; my mother at 87 is being cared for heroically by my sister Helen)—if creating a shrine really does make us feel better or reminds us poignantly of how they’re gone and the life we knew with them is gone and the world they knew is gone forever. My father collected Time and Life and Look magazines religiously like they were scrolls of history and among a trove of other things some mysterious receipts kept in consecutive order in little envelopes that date back to 1952 and once had some importance but are now lost to history.

Life is a series of losses to history but Christmas does remind us that there is always new hope in the world and new beginnings through the power of our faith and the embrace of our famlily.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

About Dimitri C. Michalakis

Dimitri C. Michalakis is Editor in Chief on NEO Magazine.