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Italian Stories

For what seems like years now, I have not slept through the night. I fall asleep early and wake up in the middle of the night. I wander through the house as my mind races with thoughts of family, business, finances, and lately, the loss of Izzy. I miss her terribly.

Christmas time makes my middle of the night walks slightly more palatable. I weave through the dozen Christmas trees that light my way. The ornaments bring back memories of when it all started with just me and Chip. Then the poodles. Then the kids. Then Izzy. Uncertainty lies ahead as it always has. Not all uncertainty is negative. We need to remind ourselves of that.

This time of year, it can be tough to balance melancholy, sadness, and joy. COVID has taken so much away from us, but I do not want to honor that virus here. No. I want to laugh a little and share some thoughts with you, as I have always done.

Ok, let’s get to it.

christmas during the pandemic 2020

At the risk of sharing TMI, let me ask you, “Have you ever taken a moment to see yourself naked?”  An odd question you ask but have you?

I avoid it at all costs. If someone came into my house and said they would take my family if I did not look at my naked self in the mirror,  I would bid them a warm goodbye. But please hear me out. Your naked self tells a story, your story, better than anything else. Ten years ago, I wrote a blog, “My Apron tells a story..”  and it does, but not compared to this.

So, I put on my glasses and took a deep breath. Oddly the first things I noticed were scars. The scar on my left breast reveals where the lump had been removed. The remnants of the scars on my abdomen that I am thankful for…those were the repairs to my ovaries and tubes that gave me Amelia and Jack. One very long scar was the doorway used to remove my ovaries and uterus. Many of these saved and enriched my life all at the same time.

There are too many scars to count from broken bones, orthopedic surgeries, and a few monumental falls. Funny, I did not see the “COVID-10” that has made a home on my belly. No, I saw a story. I believe you will find one too.

“Maybe Christmas (he thought) doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more.” — The Grinch. 

Christmas pug puppy dog, sitting down wrapped in red tinsel on sheepskin.

Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanza- whatever you celebrate, make it something more. We cannot hug each other nor sit around the table sharing the Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve, but we can Zoom! We can leave treats on our neighbor’s doorstep, wishing them a Happy New Year. We can be kinder and thoughtful, even though we are hurting.

I am not much for sending Christmas cards. Thank you to those who took the time to mail me pictures and good wishes. They adorn my dining room door, and I smile as I pass them—Merry Christmas to you all.

Holiday shopping and gift-giving also look different for me this year. Shopping was intermittent and slightly erratic this year. Imagination and uniqueness took a holiday vacation. Like so many, my heart was not in it, and my over-taxed brain has forgotten where I hid some gifts. (Sorry, Skates, I did find one that I forgot to give you. It’ll be a Happy New Year present.)

Like so many, I am looking for hope and comfort, and I strive to deliver both whenever I can.

Some parting thoughts….

If you live remotely near me, please don your holiday mask, ring my doorbell, and say hello from afar. We will both be better for it. I promise I will make the rounds, so be ready for me! In the meantime, here are some thoughts that I’d like to share with you.

be present.

put your phone away.

eat the cookie.

hug your pets a little tighter.

read a holiday cheesy love story.

watch the Hallmark Channel.

kiss the ones you love.

kiss the ones you don’t.

do the holiday the way you want it to be.

create new memories.

remember the old ones.

breathe.

I wish you abundant health and happiness in 2021.

Karen

Italian Traditions for Christmas
The Italian Words Buon Natale, which means Merry Christmas

 

 

 

resources: How the Grinch Stole Christmas, (1957) Dr. Seuss

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