A Very Italian Christmas

The holiday season is coming to an end. Can you believe it? It feels as if I was writing that it was beginning only mere days ago! With only New Years Eve left, and I should disclose that I have never been a fan of that holiday, we are basically into 'you're a hillbilly if you still have decorations up' territory. So, how is an Italian Christmas you might ask? Well it begins like this...

Think he wants some?

On Thursday & Friday, the festivities begin. Pizzelles, Pizzelles and more Pizzelles. It doesn't get any better than these wonderful Italian cookies, which I know as ferratelle. We spend hours preparing the dough, and two at a time, cooking these treats on the waffle iron. Yes, it seems like a lot of effort for cookies that could be bought at a store but, it is so much more than that. It is an age-old tradition. The smell of the vanilla and anise immediately takes me back to my Grandma Yolanda's house at Christmas time, and just like that-- I am ready for the holiday.

On Saturday La Vigilia, we celebrate  festa dei sette pesci. The Feast of the Seven Fishes. This is a tradition that unfortunately, was forgotten in our family and in recent years, I have taken under my wing to ensure we continue each year. This feast, has been a long-standing tradition in Italian families and, marks the wait for the baby Jesus. On Saturday, I begin cooking around 2PM. Salmon, Crab, Lobster- you name it, it's on the table. I am not an uber-religious person by any means, this tradition is more important to me because it honors my Italian heritage and those that have come before me.

Finally, Christmas Day arrives. My mother hosts Christmas Day at her home each year. Thankfully, our Christmas has been growing each year and more and more family comes together to celebrate. We are Italian so of course, there is bread, pasta, vino and more bread. We are NOT afraid of carbs in this family- that's for sure!

If you have sensitive ears, do not come to my mom's on Christmas. Italians seem to think the louder the voice, the better the story, argument, point (you get it, right?) Between the yelling, and the arguing and the tears (yes, of course there were tears and family drama) it's hard to remember why we all came together in the first place. Then, the house clears- and I can hear my thoughts again- and I remember, how lucky I am to have the exact family that I have. In the silence, I miss them all so much and can already feel myself looking forward to next year.

Happy Holidays to you and yours.

This is my dad's prized possession (that mom only allows in the basement.) He collects pop culture ornaments (over ten new each year) and if you come to our house on Christmas- be ready to take the Tree Tour.

"Oh, this is I Love Lucy! Remember Lucy- that crazy broad?"

The Thanksgiving Tragedy

As I am sure you know, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the biggest bar night of the year. I have never partaken in this tradition but, of course, I am all about trying new things this year so - I attended. Worst decision ever. The night began with good friends and catching up at a friend's house in Stow. A short taxi ride later and we were in the land of the Valley. It was impossible to get a drink, you couldn't move and no one could smell my Dolce and Gabbana perfume over the smell of Cherry Bombs & Christmas Ale spilling all over my leather jacket. It was my nightmare.

What else was a girl to do but run up to the bar and order multiple shots of Jamison? If you can't get a drink but every 45 minutes, you must consolidate, right? Think smarter not harder!

Wrong.

The night gets blurry from this point on but, what I do know is I woke up with a lost debit card, broken cell phone, vomit on various items of clothing and of course, a lack of dignity. I can say with 100 percent certainty that this was my last trip to Thanksgiving Eve and certainly, my last trip to the Valley until plastic surgery deters people from recognizing the girl who fell on the dance floor. As you can imagine, the next morning (Thanksgiving) was pleasant. The only thing I was thankful for that morning, was the fact that I might have thrown up enough calories the night before to consume them again in Thanksgiving dinner. The two-hour car ride to my Aunt's nearly killed me. With every bend in the road I felt my gag reflex acting up.

I had heard that when a smart phone gets wet, you can attempt to revive it with a bowl of rice to soak up the liquid.

My attempt- riding in the car with me all the way to my Aunt's.

Needless to say, I arrived to the Thanksgiving dinner. Buzzed, disheveled, sans phone, sans dignity.

My Dad cutting Turkey in his Gingerbread outfit (while laughing and trying to feed me wine all day-not funny).

The Holidays

The holidays are upon us!

Although there is no snow on the ground, thanks to Starbucks' Peppermint Mochas and Nordstom's window displays-- I have had no trouble getting into the holiday spirit.

What don't I love about the holidays? Family, Food, Shopping. My favorite things in excess for two entire months!

As I am sure you can tell, this fashionista loves giving gifts almost as much as she likes receiving them. I consider it a favor to my family, friends and significant other that I make a Christmas List each year even at the age of twenty-two. How else would they know what to get me?

After years of terrible cowl neck sweaters and socks, I have learned my lesson. Each person receives a detailed list with item description, picture and URL for a direct where-to-buy link. And, of course, no list would be complete without numerical ranking of importance. (Again, how would they know that the David Yurman ring is a MUST and the Hunter Boot Liners somehow, just don't compete in importance?)

Here are a few of my must haves this year:

1. David Yurman Wide Crossover Ringhttp://www.davidyurman.com/shoponline/product.aspx?itemid=Y0J3R&folderid=/women/bestsellers

I mean it's not on the Best Seller's list for nothing. Am I right ladies?

2. Michael Kors Runway Chronograph Watch

http://shop.nordstrom.com/S/michael-kors-runway-chronograph-watch/2972103?origin=related-2972103-0-0-1-1

I collect Michael Kors watches like a child collects Webkins. I die for every single boyfriend watch the genius creates. However, solid gold and silver are the only colors I have yet to purchase. Necessary? I think so.

3. Marc by Marc Jacobs Small Katie Boxed Pave Turnlock Bracelet

http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/marc-by-marc-jacobs-small-katie-boxed-pave-turnlock-bracelet/3225134?origin=PredictiveSearch&resultback=4845

I love them all but, the rose gold is to die.

Can we see a theme here? I love accessories and am all for an arm party for any occasion!

Happy holidays and happy shopping!