Christmas Eve is so different than last – in ways I’ve already described, but in a few others as well.

First, it will just be different given my Nonna is no longer with us. Christmas Eve tradition of past has always, always, meant dinner at Nonna’s, with lots of Italian goodies, from spidini, to lasagna, to meatballs…the WORKS! She was the “matriarch” of sorts for my dad’s side of the family, and her home was the holiday epicenter. This year, everyone’s basically going their own ways, and part of me wonders if that’s because it’s easier to do that, then to face that it IS different, and will never be the same. But, she’s in my heart, I can feel her all around me, and I know she’s looking down on each of us (my sisters, my family etc) and wanting us to be happy, not sad, because that is what the holidays are for – happiness and family. I also replay last Christmas Eve in my head, from the words she spoke to me that I’ll never forget. Now, it makes me beam with pride and memories.

Another reason why Christmas Eve (and day) will be different? My sisters and I haven’t spoken to my dad since early October, just before our birthday. We’ve never had the strongest relationship with him, and tend to get into fights (usually, almost always, driven by him, not us!) over something stupid and then don’t talk for months at a whack. Well, it’s that time of year again, apparently, and we haven’t talked to him for quite some time. It’s dissapointing that silly arguments can elevate into vicious fighting, and I wish it weren’t the case, but I’m sticking tight with my sisters and we’ll enjoy the holidays together, with the rest of our family (note – we’ve never been nearly as close to him as to our mom, since they divorced when we were quite young, so I hope this post doesn’t come across as crass or heartless, because it’s not meant to…it’s just the way our relationship has always been with him, lots of ups and downs.)

Despite these differences, I’m hopeful, content, and at peace with the state of my life and my family at this moment, and am heading into the holidays feeling victorious. To all of you – enjoy, have fun, and most importantly, eat, drink, and be merry!!

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