Nick sets a place for all at annual feast

December 23, 1997

Nick sets a place for all at annual feast

Editor's note: The Herald-Mail is highlighting 12 different individuals or groups who make a difference to others during the holiday season.


Staff Writer

As a boy growing up in a small village in Greece, Nick Giannaris used to carry food to his neighbors on Christmas Day.

"Everybody always made sure everybody else had something to eat that day," said Giannaris, 63, owner of the Four Points Hotel at 1910 Dual Highway.


Since 1986, Giannaris has been making sure people in the Washington County area have a holiday meal, along with fellowship, on Christmas Day.

"Christmas with Nick" has grown from feeding about 250 people 11 years ago to providing meals for more than 1,200 people last year.

Giannaris hopes to see at least that many faces at his dinner this Christmas.

"It's one day I don't get tired of working," said Giannaris, who helps chefs Scott Stouffer and Larry Hawkins in the kitchen.

While many people would spend the day at home or with family, the Giannaris family shares the holiday with an extended family.

That can include tourists passing through town for the holiday who might have trouble finding an open restaurant for a meal.

"They don't feel like outsiders. They feel like part of a big family," he said.

Giannaris - often called St. Nick this time of year - reserves St. Nick Day, Dec. 6, for his own family, he said. A special dinner is prepared at his Meadowbrook Road home, his wife bakes pastries and friends visit the house.

But Christmas Day holds a special place in his heart.

"It's the nicest day I spend all year," Giannaris said.

How does he feel at the end of the day after helping to prepare 50 turkeys, 50 hams and pounds of mashed potatoes, stuffing, succotash, soup, salad and desserts for hundreds of people?

"It's just a nice warm feeling inside of me."

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