Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Family Gatherings

On back-to-back Saturdays during this past month, we enjoyed Christmas gatherings with our extended family. The first Saturday we got together with Dad's mother's side of the family - aunts, uncles and cousins. The above picture shows most of us who were there. This year, each branch of the family brought a slide show summary of their year, so we were able to catch up with the big events of the year. Almost everyone from that family still lives in the Chicago suburbs, so getting everyone together in one place is a lot easier than on the other side of the family...

Mom's family is scattered from Maine, to Florida, to California - and her extended family fills in other coastal states as well. We had a wonderful time gathering with them this past summer. For Christmas, however, we were only able to get Mom's brother's family here. Uncle George lives less than an hour away - when the weather is good. But when it is snowing heavily (like it was the day they came!) it took them nearly 1 1/2 hours! We're so glad they came anyway! We had fun eating, talking, eating (that's mostly what we did - but we're Italian, you know), looking through a bunch of Uncle George's pictures from his recent trip to Italy (with some others from Mom's family), playing ping-pong, and eating some more. Yes, that is the famous chocolate fountain in the picture above. Of course, by the time the desserts came out we were already filled up with hors d'oeuvres, pasta, eggplant, chicken... Mmmmmmm.

Traditions are wonderful things, and they are best when shared with family - Those special people who are always there and always will be. What a blessing! We love you all!

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