My Grandma made Christmas special-because she was special. When December comes it seems that every day is a reminder of how much I love and miss her.
I miss the special day weeks before Christmas when I would go over my Grandma’s house and we would spend the whole day covering things in chocolate. Apricots, potato chips, fudge, oreos, pretzels, and ritz crackers with peanut butter filling were just a few of our standards. Dark chocolate raisins, milk chocolate peanuts, and white chocolate rice krispies were all poured into small red and green paper cups. There wasn’t anything that couldn’t be dipped, drizzled, or mixed into the pounds of chocolate wafers she would buy.
I miss her traditional Christmas Eve Italian Feast of the Seven Fishes. Squid, Eel, Shark, and Octopus, were all normal entrees on the menu that day. If you didn’t like to eat food with tentacles it wasn’t your night. Whatever you wore to Christmas Eve dinner was destined to smell like fried smelts and baccala until mid-March.
I miss her beautiful decorations. There were oversized multicolor Christmas lights on her magnificently trimmed front hedges, and garland around her entryway railing with gold bells that chimed Christmas carols. The real evergreen tree in the upstairs living room was always decorated with white lace ornaments, and the tree downstairs was adorned with handmade sequined ornaments from all seven of her children.
I miss how my Grandma’s house was always a bit chilly on Christmas morning from more and more family coming through the downstairs glass door. She would give everyone her knitted booties to wear to stay warm. It was commonplace to be wearing a lovely velvet dress, black tights, and bright blue knitted booties.
I miss her homemade stockings with all of our names hand sewn on the tops, which were filled with oranges, tick tacks, silver dollars, and a tooth brush. I miss how she would wrap her presents for everyone. Always nice wrapping paper, but never any bows.
I miss the Christmas breakfast roll she would make with a pineapple and ricotta cheese filling. The homemade Italian wedding soup on her rolling silver cart next to the telephone. The ham she would have roasting in the oven. And the pizzelle, biscotti, and apricot kolacky cookies in large tins and tuperware’s on a folding table in the corning of her dining room.
I miss looking across her living room and seeing her sitting in her comfy white chair sipping a cup of coffee out of her nice china, and smiling loving at everyone through her thick rimmed glasses – which got thinner frames but thicker lenses through the years. She is wearing a white turtleneck with shimmering poinsettias on it, black sweatpants, a Santa hat, and knitted bright blue booties of her own.
I miss her. I still miss her. I will always miss her.