Christmas Update

We had a wonderful Christmas, and I hope you did too.  :-)

The week before Christmas, my three crazy ‘kids’ got together at my oldest daughter’s house in Tampa and had a wonderful time – SKYDIVING!

Jessica, Emily and Daniel all jumped out of a plane at 11,000 feet and had the time of their lives! Two of them paid extra to have a video recording made of their experience, and they all agreed that it was absolutely amazing!! I love roller coasters, so I probably would have joined them if I could…. Would you ever go sky diving?Christmas Update

My son, Daniel, was able to come home for Christmas and definitely got the white Christmas he was hoping for. He flew in on a Thursday and his birthday was the following day so we went to Wegmans for lunch and did some shopping at Macy’s.

We especially enjoyed the display of life-size Santa Clauses from different periods in history – truly delightful to learn about.

Christmas Update

Daniel has become interested in playing the guitar recently and had borrowed a roommate’s guitar in college to play a little and really had fun.

Well, it was easy to choose his birthday gift, and he was very thankful for a guitar of his own – including strap, case, picks, tuner, etc. It’s a great guitar package for beginners.

I suppose we’ll have to find a way to ship it back to college so he can continue building up his calluses as he learns the different chord progressions.

Our church had a Christmas Eve candlelight service with special music and a Christmas message focusing on our Savior, Jesus Christ. Daniel enjoyed the service, but Croce had to work until about 8 pm so couldn’t attend. I was in the nursery with the little children, and thoroughly loved every minute.  :-)

After church, Christmas Eve was spent with family who live only 10 minutes away. We enjoyed good food, games, much laughter and just being in each others company.

We deviated from our traditional shrimp scampi over linguine each Christmas eve but enjoyed a new twist on things this year.

We spent Christmas day just relaxing at home, with my husband especially appreciating the chance to sleep in with no alarm clock.

Baked Clams, Veal Spitini, Rice Florentine, Salad and Coke in individual glass bottles (my fave) was on the menu, and Croce, Daniel and I savored each bite. My sister-in-law Rose made cuccidati, which is a special Sicilian cookie with a delicious filling of chocolate, figs, almonds, orange rind, etc.

Christmas Update

Cuccidati – Sicilian Christmas Cookies

At the table I did mention how it would have been so much better if our daughters and son-in-law could have also come, but we were thankful for a special Christmas meal with just the three of us.

We took a walk in 14-degree weather as the snow was falling and every minute were aware that hat and gloves (along with waterproof snow boots) are a must for walking in Montrose around Christmas time! Got some much needed exercise and later warmed up with hot cocoa.

So thankful for good health, family and friends and consciously aware that we’re SO blessed. How was your Christmas? Would you ever sky dive? Would love to hear your thoughts.

Take Care,
Carol  :-)

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  • Doris Hopper

    Hey Carol,

    Thanks for sharing your Christmas with us. Mine was spent trying to get over the flu, and missing Everett. I am proud of your children for sky diving. My daughter Cheryl was a sky diver she made of 300 jumps. If her health would let her she would still be jumping.

    Looking forward to the new year. Hope yours will be greater than this year. With your help I know this will be the year I make my first money online.

    God Blessing for the New Year.


    • Carol Amato

      Hello Doris!

      I’m so sorry you were physically sick and heart sick over Christmas, but the latter is perfectly understandable with what you’ve been through.

      Wow, Cheryl sounds like my son-in-law, Chris, who has over 300 jumps… Daniel wants to go again, so he definitely had a blast.

      Yes, success in 2014!! :)

      Love and Prayers,
      – Carol

  • Donald Thomas

    It sounds like a wonderful Christmas, Carol :) – Let’s see would I ever jump out of a perfectly good plane… You must be high!


    • Carol Amato

      LOL Well, I would! :-)

      Talk soon,
      – Carol

    • Terry S.

      My feelings exactly! LOL

      • Carol Amato

        Forgot to mention they were tethered to a professional – but suppose that still doesn’t matter! :)

  • Christopher Jewell

    It sounds like you all had a great Christmas. I got together with a couple of my artist friends. We had a great dinner, conversation, put Swedish ornaments on the Christmas tree, listened to Jingle Cats (2 different CDs), Swedish chimes. I sketched her cats and interacted with them a little. It was a very nice Christmas evening.

    Sky diving was not one of our activities. I personally think it is a form of insanity ;). It is something I would never consider doing. Guitar on the other hand is something I have dong and would consider doing again. If you want callus, you’ve got to play. It’s funny how that works out.

    A video and an artcle I found funny recently when a friend of mine was thinking of flying to see relatives this winter and had concerns about flying, as do I. Here they are:

    From Popular Mechanics online:

    and from James Ricker on YouTube:

    Thanks for asking, Carol.
    Chris Jewell

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    • Carol Amato

      Hi Chris,

      Very entertaining video – so glad you had a nice Christmas! I don’t think I would be interested in flying through the air without a parachute… Not the best case scenario. :-)

      Have a wonderful day.

      Take care,
      – Carol

  • Adrian Gonzales

    Thanks for sharing Carol. Good to hear you have a wonderful Christmas with your family. =)

    • Carol Amato

      Thanks, Adrian! :)

  • Patricia Haag

    Hi Carol – Would I jump out of a plane? In a word – NEVER! Heights aren’t my thing, but I admire your kids’ bravery.

    Thanks for sharing your Christmas with your readers. Here’s to a great 2014 for you and all of us.

    • Carol Amato

      Hi Patricia!

      I can understand your feelings for sure! Yes, let’s make 2014 the best year ever! :-)

      Take Care,

  • Terry S.

    Thanks for sharing your Christmas.
    It sounds wonderful!

    My Christmas Eve and Day were quiet and spent with good company –we had a great time!

    Jump out of a plane in perfect working order? Are you nuts?
    What scares me is not so much the jumping out part — it’s the landing that worries me! LOL

    Looking forward to hearing about your New Year’s traditions…

    • Carol Amato

      Hi Terry!

      You made me chuckle… :) Glad you had a great Christmas!

      Well, each one of my children were ‘tethered’ to the instructor (professional) so it was NOT a solo jump by any stretch of the imagination – suppose I should have mentioned that part! LOL

      Have a good evening and thanks for coming by to share your thoughts.

      – Carol

  • Ruth Clark

    Hi Carol,
    Thank you for sharing your delightful family with us for the Christmas season. Aren’t children wonderful?

    I was able to come home for Christmas. I’ve been recovering from surgery at a daughter’s home and am able to get about some now. We had a great Christmas with a couple of grandsons in the house. It was nice to have stockings again.

    Take care and God bless.

    • Carol Amato

      Hi Ruth,

      Oh, I am so glad you were able to be home for Christmas and glad you’re able to get around a little. Yes, children are such a blessing, although have not experienced being a grandmother, yet! :)

      Happy your Christmas was joyous!

      Take Care,

  • Geri Richmond

    Hi Carol,

    Sounds like the perfect Christmas except for the sky diving. I thought about this before and told my friend that when we turn 70, we should jump out of a plane and she looked at me like I had lost my mind.
    My family made zippola. Does your family make those? They are sooo good.

    Wonderful post, I loved it. :)

    • Carol Amato

      Hey Geri!

      That’s funny!

      Yeah, we love Fried Zeppoles, although there’s a secret to making them light – bet you make them perfect!

      Thanks, Geri… Talk soon,
      – Carol

  • Laura McCullough

    Hi Carol!
    Enjoyed your post! I gotta admire you–again!–for transitioning from warm, sunny Florida living to the blustery Northeast so gracefully. You sound blessedly cheerful about walking in 14-degree temps!!!

    On sky-diving, my initial reaction was “NO WAY!” But on further thought, a timid yes, if it wasn’t too costly. And if the plane and crew had an impeccable track record for successful jumps. And if the sun was shining. And if…..well, if YOU do it, give me a ring first! ;D

    My dear hubby and I enjoyed a wonderful Christmas Eve service at Grace Bible Church in Pleasant Hill, CA, complete with Christmas music and Gospel preaching. Recorded, though, was their Christmas Sunday gospel message – also a great sermon!

    Christmas Day was quiet, except for taking an adopted sister to dinner at Hometown Buffet. We actually “did Christmas” over New Year’s this past week with three of our five kids, and “significant others,” and a grandbaby,… all in lovely San Diego. Temps in the low 70s. A highlight was my annual tradition of Dutch Jan Hagel cookies–recipe and pic at (I live in almond-growing country, so I use chopped almonds instead of walnuts, add colored sprinklies, and press it onto one 16″x14″ cookie sheet.)

    Thank you for sharing your Christmas! You make us feel like part of your extended family!

    Looking forward to your next post,

    • Carol Amato

      Hello Laura!

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the post – don’t admire me, I’m just choosing to bloom where I’m planted. :-)

      I would be scared to death but would be so thrilled about actually doing what I’ve wanted to for so many years – skydiving! They take very good care of the rookies – You are actually tethered to the instructor who has many years of experience, etc. You will definitely not be skydiving solo…

      So happy you had a wonderful Christmas Eve service – And what a wonderful thing to do on Christmas day! I’ll have to listen in, thanks for providing the video.

      I’ve never heard of those cookies, how wonderful. You are a fantastic baker, and I know so because you use ingredients that are indigenous to the area – case closed! YUM! :-)

      You ARE part of my family, and don’t you ever forget it!

      Thanks so much for taking the time to come over and share your thoughts and feelings – loved it, made me smile!

      Love and Prayers,
      – Carol

  • asgonzales

    Good to see that you are with your family this Christmas. Thanks for sharing @Carol_Amato_

    • Carol Amato

      Had a good time, thanks