The Grapevine: A Month of Celebrations

By Rosalyn Queen Alonso on December 17, 2018 from The Grapevine via

December seems to be the month that has a lot of celebration and observations for me. Starting with December 3, I celebrate the birth of my twin grandchildren Holli and Hunter Queen.  The day they were born seems as though it was yesterday. I was in Washington D. C. Doing a panel discussion at Georgetown University. Maria Lombardo had arranged it and it was a three-day event.  We were discussing the impact that Italian festivals and other events have on communities. One of the other panelists was Sonny Bono and I was so pleased to serve with him.  I got the call early Saturday morning of the pending arrival and after much thought I knew I had to come home.  When I got to Clarksburg Hunter was here and we were waiting for Holli.
On December 7, history reminds us that one of the worst mine disasters in the U. S. Happened at Monongah.  My grandfather, Giovanni Oliverio, was killed in the mine explosion.  He was my father's dad.  We lost a lot of our family history as my dad was given the name of his stepfather Burnett.  Over the years (and even after a couple of trips to Italy) we have never been able to establish what Oliverio family we are related too.
December 8 marks the birth of our twin sons, Mike and Marty.  Back then we did not have all the modern technicality that we have now, and the biggest surprise of my life was waking up to find out that I had twin sons.  About two weeks before we had moved into our new home and my nursery had only one baby bed so because we had to leave Marty at the hospital for a few weeks (he was too small to bring home) we were able to make the adjustments to welcome the babies.  They slept in the same baby bed that I slept in.  It was purchased by our grandfather for Joan and many of our family members have used it.
We also celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8.
December 13 marks the birthday of my very first granddaughter, Miranda Quinn Lang.  I had one grandson at this point, but you know, granddaughters are different.  This young lady has provided a lot of proud moments in my life.  It is to her and her cousin Holli that I have tried to pass down family traditions such as cooking and making pita piatas.  I know she shares my pride in our Italian heritage.
Now that the first half of December is over I get ready to observe the wonderful holiday of Christmas. Being one of my favorite holidays, I like all that goes with this holiday, the decorating, the shopping, the baking, the cooking but most of all celebrating with all my family and friends. As we get older we realize how important it is to observe these holidays just in case we do not have another opportunity.
I hope that you are having a full December. It can be just as big as you feel you want it to be. Do not make it a burden. A lunch at a fast food establishment for the grandchildren can be as meaningful as a four-course dinner.  Make it an event they will remember for the rest of their lives. 
Can you imagine when they are full grown adults their memories of being at McDonald's or Chick-Fil-A or Wendy's with their gray-haired grandmother having a Big Mac and fries and opening their gifts or cards and all dressed up in their Christmas finery.  Maybe everyone will have a Christmas hat on.  Maybe Grandma will be paying with coupons from Sunday's paper.  A memory forever.
Have a great December, keep in touch and until next week "Now You Have Heard It Through the Grapevine."


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