Saturday, December 23, 2006

Buon Natale

You're busy, I know. But if you'd like, if you have a moment, if you want -- if you need to -- share with us that special thought of Christmas past, of that lovely person no longer with you whom you think of with bittersweet emotion and fondness every year at this time.

Pay tribute, pay homage, pay a compliment, say thank you. And know that since February, I've been honored and astounded that you've chosen to share with me so much of your lives, your struggles, your loves, and those daily triumphs that make life a blessing.

I'm thinking of my grandmother, Adina. She came to America at the turn of the last century, taught herself to read and write English, raised a family of folks who are proud of thier Italian heritage, but who count themselves fortunate to be Americans.

I have a cameo which belonged to her that looks similar to the one pictured. Dig the produce in the do? Anyway, it means a lot to me, and so does making special food for Christmas Eve and day which Nonni always made. She was a very simple woman. I miss her.

Merry Christmas, and Buon Natale, Bellas.

Encore! Felicitazione cathy, you've won Roxanne St. Claire's gifts from yesterday's Christmas and Clooney GuestBlog. Email me your snail mail address at .
Encore due! Grazie mille, Rocki, for getting us in the holiday spirit. Visit again soon!


Kris said...

Congrats cathy!!
Merry Christmas everyone!! :)

ev said...

This is the second Christmas since my dad died. The third since he was too ill to travel and be with us. He missed my college (finally!!) graduation that year too. Mom isn't feeling well enough to come this weekend as planned, but that is nothing a kidney removal surgery won't cure. (Soon we hope. We should know soon.) Christmas sucks without Daddy- no one to pull stupid practical jokes on us all. You would think he would save it for April Fool's day.

Every year it seems I lose one more in my family, and for the ones I count in that group, it's getting real small.

So enjoy every moment you have with the ones you love, not just at the holiday's. You never really know when it will be the last time.

Tomorrow night, when everyone else has gone to bed and I am finishing up (around the time Santa should show up) I will pour a Bailey's (the new caramel one, I think) and toast everyone who has gone. (Shsss.That's my secret tradition. I have never told anyone else that.)

Merry Christmas everyone!!!!

Anonymous said...

Love to hear your sprinkling of Italian! I'm new to the site so I've missed many of your stories. I am Italian on my mother's side. My grandmother came to America with her mother in the early 1900's and the trip was so frightening to her that she developed agrophobia that worsened through the years. Eventually, my grandparents and the obligatory single son moved upstairs from us and our house always had plenty of relatives, especially during Christmas. She never learned English very well, but we communicated just fine. I regret very much that it wasn't important enough to me during my teenaged years to find out more about her past. She died when I was in my early 20's and all those wonderful stories died with her.
My relatives came from the Palermo, Sicily area.Where are your relatives from?

Cathy M said...

What wonderful prizes. Thanks so much and have a wonderful holiday.

Stacy~ said...

All my grandparents have passed away, and though we weren't close on either side, or at least the adults weren't, I still miss them very much, especially at the holidays. No matter how you might feel about someone, it all seems to melt away during Christmas. That's how it's supposed to be.

Congrats Cathy, and everyone, have a safe, fun, and wonderful Christmas.

Playground Monitor said...

My dad passed away unexpectedly on January 1, 1970 so Christmas of 1969 was our last together. I'd just finished the first quarter of my freshman year at college. My mom, my younger sister and I made it through and even though we had lost the head of our family, we considered ourselves lucky that we had a roof over our heads, my mom had a good job and as my little sister said so eloquently "We weren't prostitute or anything." *g* My mom will turn 80 next month and I tell anyone who asks that she's my hero because she took the lemons that life handed her and made the best lemonade.

Michelle has her grandmother's cameo. I have something from my dad -- my little granddaughter has his eyes. He would have been tickled to death to have had grandsons (my two boys and my sister's son) plus a great-granddaughter. But of course he sees them from heaven.

Merry Christmas everyone!


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rach said...

Hi Bellas!! =) Happy Christmas Eve!

My father was the embodiment of the Christmas spirit. He loved to give and watch the expressions on everyone's faces as they opened their gifts. He played Santa at the local mall for many years. He was a big man with a jelly belly and a deep rumbly laugh he could make "Ho Ho Ho" beautifully.

Papa never wanted anything for himself, only to give and give. For him, the pleasure was most definitely in the giving. Papa passed away in 1997 when I was 20 (almost 21) years old and not a Christmas goes by that I don't mourn him. But, I've also done all I can to preserve his traditions and enjoyment of the season.

I wish you all the best and merriest of Christmases and time with your families.

Wolfy said...

Hope everyone has a safe and wonderful holiday.

My husband is the person that I miss the most, although it has been just about 18 years since his passing, I find I miss him the most at this time of year.

Congratulations Cathy on your prizes.

Have a safe, happy Christmas everyone.

Monica Burns said...

Merry Christmas Bellas,

The holidays are always so bittersweet for me anymore. I miss my mom and dad, and my maternal grandmother who always sent my annual Christmas letter back graded. I didn't make an A+ until the Christmas before she died.

But I do take pleasure in knowing that I'm creating wonderful memories for my daughters by continuing the traditions that my parents created. Memories that will one day sustain them when I'm gone and they're missing me. *smile*

Merry Christmas to each of you, and a Happy New Year filled with peace and prosperity for all.

Now I'm off to make more memories with Baby as we get ready to kick butt on the new PS2 game Eragon!

Monica <--who blogged a little more deeply on her own blog at

catslady said...

Congrats Cathy.

Actually your grandmother sounds a lot like mine!! And I miss her laughter most of all.

Robin L. Rotham said...

My grandmother, who refused to be called anything besides Grandmother, absolutely loved Christmas. She's been gone for almost eleven years and I still miss her terribly. Her name was Mary Helen, and she was a tiny, bird-like woman who was stronger than anyone I've ever known. Although she suffered for over thirty years with Sjogren's Syndrome, among other things, she was determined to see me married. The last time I saw her was the day after my wedding -- she died two weeks later. Being a late bloomer sucked in the moment, but I'm thinking it gave me a lot of extra years with her. :D

Happy Holidays!

Julie in Ohio said...

Good Evening, Bellas!!

I hope all had a wonderful holiday. Me and Mine did. I may not enjoy the preparations beforehand but the results are worth the hassle.

I loved reading all the Christmas memories. I have a lot of wonderful memories during holiday time, from going to Grandma's house on Christmas Day to going to the zoo for their "Lights Before Christmas" display *after* Christmas. :o)
We've always been a busy family during the holidays but looking back it's always worth it...

Rach said...

Merry Christmas, Bellas! =) It was hectic, crazy, and busy and WAY too much fun!

ev said...

It was a great day here, too!!! Once I get some rest and can process the day, I know I will have some funny twin grandson stories. They were too much fun!!

I hope everyone had a great day too!! Time to get some sleep for the shopping tomorrow!!!

Julie in Ohio said...

I can't even process the idea of shopping. I really need some decompress time but unfortunately, I have to work tomorrow. bah humbug...

Stacy~ said...

I'm with you Julie - have to work. It's sad really - we Americans need to get with the program and get our own Boxing Day. I think this is a worthy cause, especially if it means more reading time. Hey, we're promoting literacy here!

Hope y'all had a great Christmas.

Julie in Ohio said...

LOL, Stacy-- I like the way you think. :o)

Rach said...

Stacy, I'm with you lol! =) But, as a teacher I'm off until the 2nd. One of the (small) advantages of the job. (Let's not forget the whole can't-play-with-the-Bellas situation...)

Julie in Ohio said...

Ev-- I've been meaning to tell you that I thought of you last week as I was watching a movie on TV. It starred Toby Keith. I believe they said that it is the first movie he's done. I just laughed and thought of you immediately.

ev said...

Julie-that was Broken Bridges. I saw it too. I was a little disappointed in the cutting of the film- they did it in awful places. I am looking forward to the DVD to see if it is better. I do have to get the sound track though. I love the music. When we saw him at the State Fair, she was there to sing the title song and another one too. Part of his label. i wonder who will be there in January when we see him again.
Yes, I am a sad, sad person. LOL
Thanks for thinking of me.

Playground Monitor said...

I used to go out every year on the 26th to shop for 1/2 price Christmas wrap, ribbon, Christmas cards, decorations, et cetera. This year? Uh... I don't think so. It's a cold, dreary day and I just want to curl up on my sofa with a nice cup of hot tea and read. Besides, I have plenty of cards, ribbon and wrap left over from this year. *g*

Best reason to stay home is my son, DIL and granddaughter are coming to visit today! Yay! I get to see the baby again and watch her "unwrap" her presents from us. She's 6 1/2 months old and is sitting up now. I can't wait to sit her on my lap and read to her. I got her a bunch of books for Christmas. Sssssh. Don't tell.


Rach said...

Ooh, Marilyn, what books did you get? Little Bit turned a year old last Tuesday and only really started enjoying books three months ago. She really likes the Sandra Boynton books, especially DOGGIES. She laughs and laughs! =)

Julie in Ohio said...

I agree, Ev. There were gaps in the story but overall I enjoyed it. I am also going to get the soundtrack. I saw the girl in another movie and was surprised to learn that she did her own singing. She has a great voice.

Playground Monitor said...

I got her Goodnight Moon, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Pat the Bunny and Olivia (which is my granddaughter's name). With the exception of Pat the Bunny, they're all the heavy board books, which are good at this age (6 1/2 months). I also got her some music CDs -- a set that has all the usual childhood songs on them so you can listen and sing along.

At RWA last summer, they gave us a copy of Meg Cabot's The Princess Diaries and I got Meg to autograph my copy to Olivia. Of course, that's for much later when she's old enough to appreciate it. But you grab the opportunity when it arises, oui?

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Hi , Bellas! Finally got a new post up, but wanted to check in here cause I loved reading what everyone shared. Even the Toby Keith stuff made me smile, cause I think of ev, too, when I hear his name.

rainy, your question about where my grandparents are from set off a big family debate, only because my mother always gets confused for some reason. Anywayz, my maternal grandparents came from the villages of Corinaldo and Mondavio. My grandmother lived on a farm and hated it; they were really really poor, even after they emigrated here. She was quarantined at Ellis Island for 6 mos, and I can't imagine how frightening that must have been for a kid 7 year old.

ev, I think your tradition is a good one. Don't worry, your secret's safe w/us. We should make that our tradition next year, too. :)

play, your mom's words are eloquent, ideed! :)

stace, you're right about the tough stuff melting away, but for me, it takes a little longer to defrost the disgruntled emotions.

rachd, thanks for sharing that, and I'm glad we're (hopefully) gonna see alittle of you this week.

cryna, what a testament to the man your husband was. I'm sure he felt lucky to have you, too.

jules, too true about the craziness, then the relief when it works out. Glad you got to enjoy it. I did, too. My trick yesterday? No eggnog. If I'd started, I'd never have stopped, and wouldn't have made it through dinner and all the clean up.

robin, what a lovely way to pay tribute to your grandmother, and how wonderful she saw you married.

catslady, don't we love our grandmothers so much?

Monica, I know you've spoken of your grandmother and that grading story before, and it still makes me laugh, and smile. Of course, not as much as the email you sent me today with the dancing cowboy in chaps, but nonetheless...