has everyone gotten all they're holiday shopping done? have you been able to get all the decorating done? i'm actually glad to say that i'm done with both of those things. i, of course, have not, as yet, gotten any presents wrapped and under our wee tree. it's too tempting and too dangerous for the wee folk of the house. they have a hard time keeping their little hands off the ornaments and other holiday decorations. i know if i put presents out now they would be having small fits to open them and see what was inside.
for some reason the other morning i begin to think of past christmases. in particular when we lived in monterey, ca. the area in which we lived and i grew up had a large italian influence. there were many large multi-generational italian families. it was wonderful. around the beginning of december i would start to hear certain school mates talk about cookie night. being 11 years old, i wasn't quite sure what this was, but i was greatly intrigued. i soon learned that many italian mothers and grandmothers would gather together on one night and spend the whole night baking cookies. they literally would bake the entire night. it always sound like such fun, such camaraderie. i imagined these older women dressed in their mourning weaves, yes many of them wore black all the time, with aprons on, mixing and measuring and baking like crazy. all the while exchanging the latest family gossip, nibbling on treats and drinking coffee (or stronger stuff). after preparing all these cookies they would exchange a certain amount with each other and make packages up for the less fortune family members to give as a holiday gift. as i grew up i would still hear of these magical baking nights but never was invited to attend. funny how certain memories just sort of pop in your head.