Thursday, December 27, 2012

“Partying Like a Crosetti since 1944”

One of our Founding Fathers, John Crosetti

Our hostess Aunt Cindy with boyfriend Bill
The Party favor for the Crosetti Christmas party was a red-drink cozy with a picture of my Great-Grandpa John and the above quote, "Partying like a Crosetti since 1944." A bit of family history on John Crosetti. In 1900, at the age of 21, he left his family in the Piedmont area of Northern Italy and landed at Ellis Island ready to explore American and see what kind of life he could create for himself.  Years later, the first documented Crosetti Christmas party was in 1944 under the auspices of Great-Grandpa John … and the merrymaking goes on, year after year, with new and old family members coming and going.

Miss Piggy getting all tied up in the festivities
This year’s host, Aunt Cindy, is a party planner so the entire gig was over the top. It was like a Christmas wedding reception on steriods! Straight out of a Martha Sterwart Magazine, Holiday Edition. She had festive ties for all the men to sport, and no detail forgotten. Even the green signature drink “The Crosettitini” kept in step with cranberries at the bottom of each glass. The Italian dinner of chicken marsala and lasagna left me feeling like my husband looked in the Santa suit! Stuffed!

We always have some fun gift game too. This year, the gift exchange required a ten-dollar present and the only caveat was we had to shop at the 99 Cent store. Imagine all that fun junk that was beautifully wrapped and handed out by Santa! Lucas loved his straw hat and cheap sunglasses!  

Breath Santa!

Ho, ho, ho! My Teckie Santa did a jolly job, however his legs received the gift of a workout with all those bottoms, large and small, parked on his lap.  I think the "little ones" believed him, but the pillow shoved in his suit was waaaay to big and when he sat down, it looked like he was gasping for air to make room for all that padding bursting from his chest.
It was a memorable night and worth the drive or flight for all who attended. Family is a blessing, but you already know that. Right?
Walking in a suburban-neighborhood wonderland
Another blessing? Good neighbors (think State Farm). We took our annual neighborhood-Christmas-lights walk one chilly night after dinner, cocoa and all. I love me those simple Christmas traditions! Check out the paper cups for the kids. Why, yes! Laughter was plentiful!
Today we pack for a road trip to Palm Springs. It’s good to know that the Wiener Sisters, Chickens, and our casa are in wonderful watchful eyes and hands! Thanks Hurd Family!

Christmas Day we had dinner at Overboard’s with our Hawaiian cousins, and were entertained by Lucas and Daniel’s magic fingers on guitar and piano. These two should take their show on the road! Ham and turkey dinner was delicious, thanks to Overboard and her cooking-for-an-army-thang! The leftovers were even better! Cheers to Italian Mothers everywhere! Clink!
We watched Elf for the third time in two weeks and I could sit through it again, just to hear my favorite line “But the children love the books.” Elf fans, I'm sure you get it!
The other Elf on the scene was Benson. At two, he's not grasping the concept of it all, clinging to the first gift he opened: a Chuckit for him to play with the dog. Everything paled next to this gift, despite receiving a mountain of awesome kiddie presents. Forget about a new camera, or perfume from Santa next year. After seeing the immense joy over a plastic doggie-ball thrower, I'd like a Chuckit in 2013!
Until then, we will continue to "Party like a Crosetti"
thanks to our start by Great-Grandpa John!
Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. ~Burton Hillis
I'm not a flake! It’s etched in my Italian genes that commitment and loyalty are golden. However with blogging, my dedication has sagged like Santa’s big bowl full of jelly-belly. Not apologizing, I wanted to state that work, kid-transport and life have pleasantly cluttered my writing path.

Now don’t get all worried and concerned (LOL!), this clutter hasn't blocked my unicycle path. I have still been riding Old Blanche four miles a week, although, after surgery recently I can’t hop on my old friend for another two weeks. Doctor’s orders! He also ordered me to stay off my feet for three days and I loved it! Permission to do nothing? I delightfully ate up that medical order like The Weiner Sisters in the hen house!

Christmas highlights have been abundant. After ten years of faking it with the Christmas tree, we bought a live one at our kid’s pleading. Other than  the chaos of stringing on the lights, it has been all fun and fragrant. The pre-lit fake tree is in the other room and it's my “Mom Tree.” Read as: it’s all pretty with coordinating decorations spaced perfectly and hung just where I think they belong (think Gimball's Deaprtment store in Elf). Our live “Kid Tree” is adorned with loads of kid homemade and bought ornaments collected over the last fifteen years. Priceless and precious!
Meet Priceless and Precious
Like the quote above states, "presence of family really is the best gift around any tree!" On that note, we took Benson down Gemini Court which is this light-filled street on steroids with moving-wood-made theme decorations on every front lawn. Sort of like mini-suburban-Disneyland. How wonderful to see this neighborhood through the eyes of my two-year old nephew! Simple gifts are best ;0)
Heading to Gemini Court
Building Gingerbread houses came early this year. We had Grandma Fish, Aunt Debbie and Uncle Matt here from out-of-state and thought it best to create a village while all hands were on deck. This is always a fun tradition and the sugary smell that lingers all month makes my mouth water. Sa-weet stuff! Please pass the white frosting ... a little more ... more ...
Gingerbread Village 2012
Lucas’s Christmas Symphonic Band Concert was amazing! We are so impressed with every concert, and there is much more to come as he is participating in Winter Drum Line. He auditioned to play the electric guitar and got the part. He’s pumped over that, however, he wants to dye his hair black and get a tattoo. We said “HELL NO!” to a permanent tattoo and “Maybe” to a temporary wash-out black dye. I said, “Lord help us” (repeat ten times). 
Overboard is Lucas's biggest band fan!
Currently, Daniel is Mr. Basketball, playing in two leagues. For Christmas, he announced that he wanted a new bible and KWA-KMP9 air-soft gun. Yes, a Bible and gun! California is definitely the wrong state for this kid! Daniel's future plans include “getting a wife” and moving to Montana. Once there, he wants to “buy some lumber and build a cabin.” We're sure going to miss him ;0)

News Break, Chicken Report: We have eight hens in our brood. That's  after my Teckie had to break one's neck (named Timid) because she had a paralyzed leg that left her no feeling on one side. Timid did okay, draggin that leg around the coop like a sandbang. Then the poor-feathered thing pecked a hole in her numb side and gizzards were showing ... but that's a whole other Oprah.  Thankfully, Daniel diligently cleans the chicken coop where we are getting 6 eggs a day! He loves those stinky birds and, for all I care, he can take them to Montana.
Cousins: Best Gift EVER!
Tomorrow night is THE Crosetti Chrismas party! This she-bang has been going on for fifty years (pictures below) and is the epitome of the presence of a happy (loud Italian) family all wrapped up in (shouting and singing at) each other. My family has a new batch of Little Ones (The Hawaiians are flying in!) and my Teckie is slated to play Santa Claus. He will do a fine job like many that have gone before him!  
Crosetti Christmas Party, 1969, Great-Grandpa John Crosetti

Crosetti Christmas Party, 1977
Crosetti Christmas Party, 1982
I'm the one wearing a table cloth; far right.
Despite the joy of the season, sadness over friends lost, loved ones passed and the Connecticut school shooting makes me slow down and hold tighter to what really matters in this short life; good health and loved ones!

I still stand by my mantra that in life "Balance is Everything." To maintain that fragile place, make peace and gratitude your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through! Oh, and to keep balance, pull your shoulders back and core straight when riding a unicycle. I'm just say'in...

I thank my God who delivers the gift of love to all!
Happy Birthday to our Hope and Savior, Jesus!