For years, Herbie J Pilato had been sharing stories of his youth at Christmas while growing up in the 1960s and 1970s in his hometown of Rochester, New York. Those were special times, and he had been blessed to have been born into a large Italian-American family. They never had a lot of money, but they sure had a lot of love. Pilato was also raised with a strong sense of priorities, and what really mattered in life. He wanted to share whatever insight he gained from those memories to provide inspiration for anyone of any faith and generation.
The 12 Best Secrets of Christmas: A Treasure House of December Memories Revealed (published by Archway Publishing) is a gathering of special real-life holiday recollections that invites the reader to embrace, enjoy, connect with, and remember the magic of Christmas. Garnered from the author’s holiday experiences of his youth, this book’s chapters are classified as “secrets,” with each revealing a special sentiment that may prove recognizable to all. Numbered from one to 12, the chapters coincide with the mainstream identification of the popular carol, “The 12 Days of Christmas.” While that famous holiday tune is referenced in “The 6th Secret” section of this book, every chapter offers its own separate insight into the many messages and favorite things that the holiday season brings and represents.
“This book will appeal to readers because today, more than ever, everyone is looking for nostalgia; they are seeking to return to a simpler time. The 12 Best Secrets of Christmas fulfills that need in warm and welcoming ways,” Pilato says. When asked what he wants readers to take away from the book, he answers, “I want readers to feel comforted, and happy. I want them to identify with my Christmas memories, with my holiday recollections, and yet be inspired to realize that all people of every religious, spiritual, or political belief, are not that different at all; that we are all human beings, doing the best we can. Instead of focusing on our differences, we can concentrate on what makes us the same, which is our humanity. And holidays like Christmas can help us to clarify that.”
The book’s Foreword is written by actor Dean Butler, best known for his roles in TV classics like Little House on the Prairie, and The New Gidget. The book’s Introduction is written by actor/voiceover artist Jerry Houser, who’s appeared in iconic movies such as The Summer of ’42, and who was the TV announcer in the 1980s for the perennial Christmas special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.