Square 9 - Winter Solstice
Book: Selected Poems of Langston Hughes
Task: I read Reasons Mommy Drinks in one night earlier this month.
Bonus Task: 3 things I like about my grandmothers
Since my grandmothers have left this world, this is more of a memory of each of them.
1. Nana Trunzo
Technically, my great-grandmother who came over from Italy when she was a baby with her family. She ensured that the Italian traditions our family celebrated stayed true to the Old World. She remained loyal to her friends, regularly meeting up with them for gab sessions over strong coffee and cookies.
2. Nana Rotolo
Daughter of Nana Trunzo and my paternal grandmother. She had the most chic style in fashion. She could throw a party - kids' birthday, cocktail, family reunions - with effortless style. She also had brains and could knock out crossword and logic puzzle books with ease. I got her reading gene and she took me to the public library every two weeks.
3. Grandma Cowles
My maternal grandmother. She handled being a military wife while raising four kids (my mom is the youngest). She was left a widow early and remarried to keep her family intact while working full time in the 60s and 70s. She was widowed again before my mom graduated high school, but no matter what life threw out at her, she handled it with aplomb and a plan of action. She moved in with us while my mom went through a painful divorce from my birth father and stayed until my mom was emotionally, mentally, and financially stable to live on her own with two teenagers.
Square 13 Christmas
Task: Pictures of stockings (my son's, my daughter's, my dog's) and our Christmas tree sans gifts because I don't trust my kids not to get into them before the big morning.
Bonus Task: Family Christmas traditions
With my Italian family, we had the Feast of the 7 Fishes for supper, followed by board games and cards until it was time to bundle everyone into the cars for a trip to church and Midnight Mass, complete with candlelight. Then we went to our respective homes to sleep and enjoy our Christmas mornings, followed by getting together for Christmas Day dinner, more unwrapping of gifts, more board games and cards. No TV was allowed to be on except for the Yule log - Nanas' orders. Music was allowed, but on low volume so that conversation could flow.
When my parents divorced, my Irish mother got rid of the never-ending seafood buffet and instituted a new tradition on Christmas Eve - the open house party. Friends and family would come to our house after getting off work for the holiday and we would eat appetizers and holiday drinks and watch It's A Wonderful Life. Once it was close to the time to go to Midnight Mass (thankfully at a different church), the house guests were welcomed to come with us or went home. The next day would be all about just the three of us (mom, me, and my younger sister).
With my own kids, we just eat antipasta and cookies, watch movies, and get into new pajamas.