A Donut Menorah & 4 Other Happy Sights

Chanukah and Christmas cheer will save us this December, in the time of Covid.

  1. Snow. It falls pure and clean, like a new start. In our pocket of the woods, the forecast for tomorrow calls for 100 percent chance of snow. Our girl might whip up snow cream. Two years ago, she made it from snow, half and half, sugar and vanilla extract and sold it by the cupful, door to door, to our kind neighbors. She made $18.
  2. Italian traditions. The Italian moms of two girlhood friends —my pals Connie and Lorraine — baked trays and trays and trays of cookies to save for Christmas Eve. I was in awe. (My mother, God bless her, made Tollhouse cookies. But that’s fine — we loved those, too.) My friend Heidi and my husband Dan’s cousin Mary Jane have both prepared the Feast of the Seven Fishes on December 24. A new pastry shop in town, Mattarello Bakey & Café, offers rich filled cannolis, lobster tails, bomboloni (donuts) and St. Joseph’s cream puffs, even BÛCHE DE NOËL yule log cakes. I got four slim boxes of torrone, the nougat candy made in Italy, for my Sis, Dan and to mail to my two brothers. Our Garbarini grandma, Rosie, who lived as a girl on a farm near Genoa, used to give it to us at Christmas. Italians know how to celebrate.
  3. Music. Ask your Google speaker to play seasonal songs. Try “The Chanukah Song” by Adam Sandler; Christmas music by Nat King Cole; or “River,” the 1971 favorite by Joni Mitchell that begins with: It’s coming on Christmas/They’re cutting down trees/They’re putting up reindeer/And singing songs of joy and peace/Oh I wish I had a river I could skate away on.
  4. Doggy coats and Christmas sweaters. I dare you not to smile at any breed of dog wearing one, including my adorable auburn buddy below, who wags constantly in my presence.
My sister’s lovable Dachshund, Buttercup, who is Santa’s Helper in Connecticut.

Magazine maven, craft coffee lover, legal guardian. Passionate about fashion and lipstick — though it may not look that way when I dash to the supermarket.

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