Christmas Drama

on Monday, December 29, 2008

First Thank You everyone that left Christmas wishes. Sorry I haven't been able to personally thank everyone.

Needless to say I am VERY thankful Christmas is done and over with until next year. Christmas Eve was kind of quiet, spent at my husband's parents place with relatively no drama. Christmas Day spirit was spoiled by someone who felt that they needed to be the center of attention and try to start a relatively stupid argument with the computer technician (aka my husband - from now on he'll be referred to as "the computer technician).

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Merry Christmas 2008

on Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays everyone! I know this is a couple of days early but tomorrow I do not know if I will be online very much, if at all. For sure not on Thursday. Tomorrow evening we're going to my husband's parent's home for a "light" Christmas Eve dinner, then on Christmas Day we are going to be at my husband's sister's home for lunch. She's a very good cook, but usually cooks enough for an Army.

Do you feel the holidays have become too commercialized? I feel that they have. But at the same time, if the present is something that someone needs, I have no problems at all with that and is money well spent. Yes our family gets together to eat and exchange gifts. I do enjoy going shopping for gifts, but for gifts that the receiver would enjoy and can actually use. I do not believe in buying to "impress". Books are a great gift. I've made a Wishlist over on Amazon.Co.UK of books I want to read. At the moment I am bookless, having read everything I have. Why the UK version of Amazon you ask? Well it is easier and faster to receive books and such from the UK compared to North America.

The photo is of the company across the street from my apartment building with their hanging Santas.

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Busto Arsizio Christmas Market 2008 part 2

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Busto Arsizio Christmas Market 2008

on Sunday, December 21, 2008

Here are some photos of this year's Christmas Market here in Busto Arsizio, Italy. I will be posting some more photos in the coming days, so stay tuned!

As you can see it's been unseasonably MILD here recently. It snowed a couple of weeks back, maybe a couple of inches maximum. Since Thursday its been in the 50's every day. Today the high temperature was 61. No this is NOT normal for this time of year here and according to the forecast is not supposed to let up until towards the end of the week. There is a CHANCE of snow on Friday. So no White Christmas here this year.

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2008 Christmas Tree

on Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Here's our Christmas tree for this year. Pretty simple and basic tree. I'm the one in charge of putting the tree up and tearing down, the computer technician (the husband) usually does not help out with that. This time of year he's usually pretty busy with work so helping with the tree is the last thing on his mind.

A fellow reader brought up on my last post about the Christmas Markets that I forgot to mention. Christmas Markets are pretty popular in Europe. Depending on the city, the Christmas Market usually starts the end of November or beginning of December and runs until Christmas Eve. The Christmas Market here in Busto Arsizio (site is only in Italian, sorry!) opened on November 29th, including fireworks in the evening. It is not a very big market, maybe around 13 different stands. Products available ranging from sweets, wine, grappa, dolls, ceramics, Christmas ornaments, candles and other choices.

Traveling this time of year to visit different Christmas markets seems to be pretty popular. I know a couple of people that enjoy doing such, not only in Italy but also for example going to Germany and Austria where there are bigger and better markets compared to what a person can find in this area. This afternoon I found an interesting website that lists some but not all of the Christmas markets here in Italy and also Europe. Unfortunately the site is only in Italian.

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Christmas in Northern Italy

on Tuesday, December 16, 2008

This is my seventh Christmas here in Northern Italy. Where has the time gone?!? It almost seems like yesterday Christmas 2002, my first Christmas here. I always stay here in Italy for Christmas, I do not go back to the States for the holidays. The main reason being is that I do not wan to run the risk of getting stuck in an airport for a day or two due to a blizzard.

So what is Christmas like here, at least in Northern Italy? There are not a lot of differences between Italy and other countries like the United States or Canada. Some people do put up Christmas trees and decorate it, depending if they have the space for the tree in their apartment. In this area there are more apartment buildings compared to single family homes. Therefore there are not any Christmas lanes like in the States or Canada. More and more people though are decorating their balconies, usually with Christmas lights and the "in" thing is also having a hanging Santa Claus off the balcony.

Last night we went to a Christmas Party in Milan. The parts of the city we were in was all lit up, with tree trunks covered in Christmas lights. Strands of lights on light poles to appear as trees.

A typical bread, usually in and around Milan is panettone. Panettone is kind of a sweet bread with raisins and candies. Then there is pandoro, which is kind of similar to panettone, but sweeter and no candies.

Our family Christmas traditions are pretty simple and "normal". On Christmas Eve we go to my husband's parents for dinner and usually open presents. Then on Christmas Day we go to my husband's sister's house for lunch. This year we're going to be opening presents on Christmas Day, for my niece. She still believes in Santa Claus.

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Happy Birthday little lady!

on Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Today is my niece's fourth birthday.  She's quite the little gal, the apple of her Uncle and Auntie's eye.  Happy Birthday Annina!  Annina is a nickname for Anna.  Yes she was named after me and we ALMOST share our birthdays.  My birthday is tomorrow.  My niece would have been born on the 11th but my sister-in-law had to have a c-section due to my niece's umbilical cord being wrapped around her neck.  For me it is not important that we share or birthday or not, but that she is happy and healthy.  The above photo was taken in May when we were in Rimini, she was having bread and Nutella for breakfast.  

I always speak English with her and she responds back in Italian.  She responds back correctly and has learned that if she doesn't understand to ask.  I've spoken only in English with her since the day she was born and I'm not about to stop now.  That way, by the time she starts school she'll have a head start compared to the others when it comes to the English language.  

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The Friendship Flower Award

on Tuesday, December 09, 2008

I would like to thank Windmill over at the Windmill On The Hill for the honor of The Friendship Flower Award.  This really made my day, thank you so much!  The rules for this award are as follows: Copy this badge and put it on your blog; Link back to who passed you this award and Spread this award to at least 7 bloggers you are friends with.  

I am passing this award to the following seven people who's blog I enjoy dropping on every day on Entrecard.  The lucky winners are:

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November Top Droppers

on Wednesday, December 03, 2008

I would like to take a moment and thank my top Entrecard droppers for the month of November. If you are a fellow card dropper on Entrecard, please stop by these great sites and show them some love. If you're not on Entrecard yet, hop on over and check out what all the buzz is about!

Either this week or beginning of next week, I would love to put together a blogroll of all of the Canadian bloggers that are on Entrecard. My reasoning for doing so is since at this point in time it is not possible to search blogs on Entrecard by geographic location. So I figured why not start up a blogroll/list of Canadian Blogs/Bloggers. If you are one, please feel free to comment and let's get the ball going!

November top droppers:
Picture to People
HRM Business Practices & Notes
The Way I See It
My Thai Friend
Learn How To Make Money On The Internet
Photography by KML
The Ad Master
Bryan Karl - Everything Online
Computer Aid
WindMill on the Hill

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Ireland photos November 2005

on Monday, December 01, 2008

Back in November 2005 my husband and I spent about three days near Dublin Ireland to have a bit of a "vacation" after I had spent about 4 months in the United States to be at my dad's bedside when he passed away.  
My husband arrived the day before I did, on a Monday, rented a car and checked into the hotel.  I had left my hometown on Black Friday by bus to Chicago.  NEVER again, a 16 hour bus ride to go 600 miles!  Spent the weekend in Chicago, then about an 8 hour flight from Chicago to Dublin to find my wonderful computer technician hubby waiting for me at the Dublin airport.  
The weather was typical Irish weather, a bit rainy and DAMP.  

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