December 2016 Lifestyle Letter

Happy Holidays!

Coming from a large, New York Italian family, cherished traditions passed down through generations play a large role in celebrating the holidays—think of a five-hour long “Feast of the Seven Fishes” dinner with the entire family on Christmas Eve that lasts well into the night and classic Pantone and coffee while opening presents in the morning.

However, there are still smaller traditions, ones that have seemed to have faded away with time that I still hold dear when reminded of them. One such tradition literally hit me over the head the other week as I was (finally) dusting off my bookshelf. Tumbling off the shelf was a large, faded yellow hardcover book with a mother and father watching their children sleep in their beds with Christmas lights blurred in the background. I opened the book to the cover page and took a look, inside, in my mother’s meticulously neat handwriting, was the words “To Danielle, From Santa.” Underneath were a few illegible words written in the shaky, unsure penmanship of a young child coated over with what looked like petrified Bonebelle lipgloss.

I opened to the first page and started reading, “Twas’ the night before Christmas…” A flood of memories washed over me as I was transported back to my childhood in Connecticut. My parents had bought me the book when I was little and I can still remember being four years old snuggled in front of the fireplace while my mother read it to me, then as a pudgy five-year-old struggling to get through all the “big words” by myself, then as a six-year-old whizzing through the book with ease as my parents proudly watched on. As I looked through the book, I realized that these are the types of traditions that truly create lasting memories, and I have now safely stowed away the book in my room so that one day, my own young children will be able to read it to me.

In the spirit of holiday traditions and memories, I invite you to take a look at a whimsical winter wedding, how one family prepares their home for the holidays, some favorite cookie recipes, and, of course, our gift guide.

Warm wishes for a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year!

Until Next Month,