Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and Happy Hanukkah!
Wow what a year we have had. As we were awaiting Teresa’s return to her family, we also were settling into our own traditions of leaving cookies and milk for Santa, carrots for the reindeer, or making sure the most wanted gift was under the tree. As we hung stocking by the fireplace or favorite bookshelf corner, we took the time to remember friends and family far and near. As we planned for the holidays last year, we are doing the same now. In the past year we grew to see friendships, changed, and some end. We also grew softer in our hearts a family coming together and allowing no one to dismantle. We greeted two new real; housewives. We got to meet their families and learn about the Jewish faith.
For me this past year has been filled with challenges and triumphs. Getting a book mention was amazing. Having Teresa come home was even more amazing. My challenges have been seeing my page grow and with growth comes some detractors. As of this blogging post Team Giudice has almost 21,000 followers. My pride and joy with this page is how many people truly support it in the meaning it was created in. Positivisty, love, faith, hope, and peace. We will be returning to more of that in 2017.
Hanukkah and Christmas start the same day December 24, 2016. While Christmas last two days, December 24th and 25th. Hanukkah will carry on until New Years Day, January 1st, 2017. Some of the customs that the Jewish people celebrate during the Eight Days is light a menorah which is the center of the Jewish celebrations. You light a candle for each day of the eight days. It is a tradition that my cousin’s celebrate and have expressed to me how important it is to them. And it is important to me. Oh and the best thing is the supply of oil for the candles lasted eight days, wow, talk about magic and faith.
Traditions from my followers!
One of my followers said they always leave cookies for Santa because they know how hungry riding in a sleigh can be.
Another said they leave a shot of brandy for Santa to keep him warm on the cold winter night.
The Italian’s said they eat from the seven fishes. It doesn’t mean you eat seven fishes but you can enjoy as much or as few fishes as you want. My grandmother would work all day on December 23rd, cleaning clams, shrimp, white fish, mussels. crab, scallops, and we would mix that in a beautiful sauces of tomatoes, seasonings and it would cook for most of the day of the 24th, only to be consumed at a table set with big bowls and lots of bread. My favorite way of eat Cioppino is over pasta. Yes I am a carboholic. My grandmother always spoiled us beyond belief with her cooking. She put her heart and soul into it.
Another tradition is from Mexican culture of making tamales. If you have ever had these amazing, tasty, fabulous things homemade for you. Treasure it. Enjoy it. And eat it knowing that someone with a very fabulously big heart, made it with love. From pork, to chicken, to green chilies and cheese, you can find savory or sweet tamales. Each is as amazing as the next.
One of my friends from Facebook, makes soups for her family. She has four kids so they each have a favorite soup. Her son’s favorite is split pea. She always makes their favorites. SO when it time to pack up leftovers, she can send them home with soup. I once had the very special honor to have Christmas Eve with them, I left with a small glass jar of each soup. The best hot and sour soup ever. Thanks Linda for this tradition. We’ve started it on every Friday of December.
Another follower from Facebook commented that his family enjoys, getting new matching pajamas. They all gather home and each year they take an updated photo. Of the same scene from the 70’s. Now they add all the grandchildren and as next year comes around the first great grandchild. They also enjoy hot coco, cookies, and watching Christmas movies.
A bulk of my followers love the coming together as family and friends. Or knowing for a short time, big kids go back to being small being. That Christmas is truly for the kid in each of us. One follower mention that sometimes the holidays can be really hard on people. Thank you for remembering that.
For me sometimes the time from November to December gets to me. I would be a blubbering mess or I would just zoom though the holidays to get to January and say what did I miss. Let’s keep those people close to us. Check in on them. If you know they will be alone, invite them over for dinner. Or pack up a dinner for them. It doesn’t have to be fancy just have it come from the heart.
And we all want world peace. With all that is going on, they just want the wars to end. Countries to heal and people to be kinder to each other. We’ve seen far too much hate in this past year. We need to strive to change it. We need to make this planet a better spot and we need to do it now. We also need to remember everyone who is suffering this year, lets make 2017 a much kinder year!
My personal favorite is watching from the Vatican Christmas Eve Mass. I love seeing how beautiful St. Peter’s Basilicas is at Christmas. I love hearing the messages of the readings and the gospel that is said. Pope Francis has given so much hope to the Catholics of the world. Pope Francis is working to heal and help. We need to remember that. Healing and Help.
Whatever your traditions or customs are be proud of them. Even if it is staying up Christmas Eve hoping to catch Santa walking about your house leaving presents. Traditions and customs need to be preserved so future generations can have something to root them in the past, while creating new traditions and customs of their own. Perhaps in the future 3-D printers will be in every home, thus making gift giving easier. Or maybe we will go back to getting one big gift, with smaller must haves or needs. Whatever the future offers, we must always remember that we are so blessed to have what we do in our lives. And we must count who we have in our lives ever so much.
I wanted to get each of the ladies from NJ to share a tradition they enjoy with their families but sadly I couldn’t get it logistically worked out. So after watching these ladies for a season, talking to them on line, I have learned that all of the ladies are amazing. Each of them love their families beyond words. Each of them knows the importance of love, faith, family, prayer, and hope. Each of them knows how blessed they are. We’ve seen ups and downs with them and they still carry on. So if your favorite tradition is doing cut out cookies and decorating them with icing, you better believe one of these ladies does too. If your tradition is staying up to watch movies on Christmas Day, you better believe one of these ladies does too. Whatever it is you do, enjoy it. Spend time with your families this holiday season. Put down the phones, the XBox, Minecraft, and other things. Focus on your family and make new memories that could be new traditions. Each of these ladies appreciates all the love, support, and compliments they get. Let’s make sure we keep the love, faith, prayers and hope going. We are an amazing group of people. We are fans to the best Real Housewives show ever. We are #RHONJFansForLife!
So from everyone at Team Giudice we would love to send you the best Holiday Greetings, Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah. We know that by coming together, we can do amazingly big things.Please pray for the sick, or for the people who have no one to pray for them. Let us also never forget the ones we have lost. And our military personnel who cannot be with their own families during this time. So as we sit down to eat lets raise a glass and thank them.
May the warmth of the holiday season be with you all. May the warmth of hot coco warm you from inside. And may the warmth of love, faith, prayer and hope always be with you. Just know you’ve made my life so much better. Thank you!
Much love from everyone at Team Giudice!