Christmastime.  It’s a time for tradition, and making memories. Memories are especially important when you’re celebrating far away from your family.  In the last week, I’ve been feeling a bit nostalgic.

PC kindly stood by this sweet supermarket display for me.  Every year, Santa stuffed my stocking with a special glass bottle “santa” coke.  I remember trying to wait and save that coke for a day when I could REALLY savor it.  I was a little disappointed this cardboard coke truck was only offering cans and plastic bottles. lame.

I picked up our pint-sized Christmas tree.

Although we have are ornament limited, I strive to follow the basics of a Tami Bay decorated tree: 1) Nothing too shiny  2) Nothing too unnatural  3) pinecones are niceimage1 (2)

However, I did add these little stinkers to the Weihnachtsbaum.  Cut from my mother’s 2013 wrapping paper, I wanted to add a little Bay doxie flair.  I mean, it’s no Tami Bay tree, but it gives just that hint of family Christmas that  I miss.

We recently discovered an amazing Italian market near our place.  We had heard tales of it, but for some stupid reason we kept forgetting to check it out.   A new Italian wife has joined the BR volleys family, and it was fun strolling through with her as she advised which wines were worth our money, and how to spot proper Italian cheeses.  I also noticed that they carried a relatively obscure Italian liqueur called, Strega.


I remember this odd herbal concoction, because it sat in my Grandma Ginna’s liquor cabinet alongside limoncello.  She was fiercely proud of her Italian heritage (her mom immigrated from Italy, dad was born in the US but was full blooded Italian) and always had a few Italian specialities around the place.  At Christmastime, she would always try to make Pannetone happen with the family…despite our obvious ambivalence/dislike of the cake.  She’s gone now, but these little memories make me smile.

So, I was especially tickled when the aforementioned, Italian wife, Serena, sent me a special chocolate truffle flavored with Strega liqueur.  Waaaaayyyyy more delicious than drinking that ghastly beverage.


Now in non-Christmas news…

I went with Jana to a small screening of the lesser known Billy Wilder film, “One, Two, Three”.  Set in a divided Berlin, Wilder ruthlessly and hilariously satirizes Americans, Germans and Russkis.


And, man, the jokes really stand up.  The hilarious 1961 film has aged marvelously.  Jana and I were laughing the entire time. It’s a madcap, fast-paced Cold War adventure.    Chuck it on the Netflix queue.

In volleyball land, PC and the BR Volleys have been rolling along.  They handed a 3-0 whoopin’ to Polish team, Asseco Resovia Rzeszów, in Champions League last week.  Unfortunately, they got caught in some bad weather on their trip home, and had to hop in some rental cards for a very long drive.

IMG_2582This week they take on rival, Friedrichshafen, in a Pokal showdown Thursday night.  Here’s hoping the winning streak continues!



4 thoughts on “Nostalgia

  1. Thanks so much for sharing happy christmas memories. It’s so funny when dad sets up the fresh and delicious smelling tree and gets the lights in perfect order sometimes I hate to add anything to it! I remember setting up a tree in the Bay girls bedroom for your own special ornaments and tree! I miss those days. I was thinking of the mystery of the Crèche and the stable animals who change location and dance party location each day! Ha ha ha. Miss you and Paul so much during the Holidays.

  2. Great stuff, Erin. We’ll all miss you this season but rest assured, I’ll eat a raspberry chocolate bar just for you 🙂

  3. This piece of nostalgia made my heart feel warm so awesome of you to have and share such memories—-can’t say i remember the strega, but i do remember the galiano. . . I must say some traditions do give meaning to life i would to be proud ;of your “tannenbaum” it is quite lovely and a tribute to your roots. . . . .and the snowball and christmas tree candles are once again decorating my home, and the wooden ornaments. . . . and i think of you when i look at them. Have a glorious Christmas season!!!!

  4. So cool to see and hear about the connections to family Christmas, and the carrying on of traditions in your own idiom. Can’t wait to see “One, Two, Three” – love the Wilder films and feel sheepish that I’ve never seen that one. Thanks for the review! Think I’ll crack open an old school “Santa” Coke under the tree during the viewing 🙂

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