It's Christmas which despite my agnostic predilections is still my favorite holiday of the year. A time when people should think of peace and love and be thankful for the blessings in their lives while at least for a couple of days forgetting the burdens that we all carry around. First and foremost I am thankful for my grandkids who provide me with the feeling of the continuity of life. To leave a legacy in life is an important thing and the extension of the family is an important part of that process. Nothing comes close to seeing a child's joy at Christmas. Pure wonder. I am thankful for my two wonderful sons who have grown into fine men and a wife who still puts up with my nonsense. Thankful for not having to struggle financially like so many Americans. Although my health is not the best right now at least I'm still capable of cooking the meal of the seven fishes tomorrow which keeps up a family tradition. Thankful that during the year I was able to return to Italy and experience the magic of my heritage. The images of Venice will always stay with me. Of course there were disappointments in 2011. Seeing the American political system melt away owing to a group of ideologues is very disturbing and regular readers of this blog know how I feel. Also sorry to see that Fox News is allowed to stay on the air so as to spread lies and hate. Also regret that some friends can't understand that holding grudges over unimportant issues is really silly and petty and that friendship should be viewed as a compilation of events over the course of years and not one incident. So to all readers, may your Christmas and New Year be filled with joy and love. Buon Natale!!!!!!!!