Please, Continue

My dear sweet sister Mary died on December 10th. After our mother died in 2001, Mary was the closest thing I had to a mother. I am the youngest of nine children, and, although I still have several living siblings, this loss - especially so close to the holidays - has been very hard to bear. I remember Mary as a fiercely independent woman who loved to truly experience life, travel, have adventures, and had a marvelously demented sense of humor. Her decline and death has left a hole in my heart, and it will take a long time for that to heal. ...more

Holiday Spirit - True Giving

While holidays are a time for family gatherings, they are also a time of need for many.  The elderly, the sick, the poor, the disabled and many more will find little joy in this holiday as they deal with circumstances beyond their control.  The difficult and uncertain economic times we are all experiencing make this holiday season an important opportunity to find the true meaning of giving - to give and expect nothing in return. ...more

To you!.. with that Italian song ...more

Christmas For Christmas's Sake!

In the legal arena, the Christmas debate is playing itself out with lawsuits against placing nativity scenes on government property as well as petitions to do so, resulting with Christians, atheists, Jews, Muslims, etc crying "discrimination!" What a mess.  On th ...more

Christmas Proves a Relaxing, Peaceful, Shabbat-Like Day for This Jew

Yesterday was Christmas Day, but at our home, it felt a lot like Shabbat. Actually, it felt more like Shabbat than most Saturdays. ...more

The Ghosts of Christmas Presents

We've all gotten them. Maybe you've even given them. Bad Christmas presents. Here's your chance to laugh, grumble, complain and confess. What are the worst Christmas presents to appear under your tree? I'm motivated to write this post by a couple of real whoppers I received this year. I am a nursing mom of two-month-old triplets, and I also have a two-year-old. This year I got cleaning supplies and a bottle of wine. WHAT?!!? ...more

Oh Happy Day! (When Jesus was Born)

It’s Christmas Eve, the night that most Italians celebrate with family and close friends, awaiting the arrival of the Baby Jesus. In fact, only at midnight he makes his appearance in the crèche. ...more

You Had Me at Hello

Boo burst in the door of my mother's house on Christmas Day and upon seeing my almost-91 year old grandfather (who has many more bad days lately than good ones) greeted him with this: "You know what my Mommy told me? She says you're going to die soon!" We were all somewhat speechless for a moment, then laughed somewhat nervously, and then I said, "I don't think so, Boo. I think Grandpop-pop is going to outlive all of us." ...more

Wishing Well to YOU!

click WISHING WELL TO YOU! ...more

Difficulty Coping With Family During The Holidays? JOIN THE CLUB

My most memorable family-related Christmas disaster came courtesy of my mother-in-law, the very first year that my husband and I were married. She flew across the country to spend the holidays with us, and then proceeded to spend the entirety of her stay reminding me that I was in no way caring for my husband adequately. The nadir of whole experience came Christmas Day, after I had spent the day slaving over a turkey dinner. I had set the table, put out the food, poured champagne into everyone’s glasses and invited my mother-in-law to toast the meal. Which she did. ...more

Oh, mothers in law! Did I mention that I live 1000 feet from mine. Kinda wish I lived in ...more