Me, Thanksgiving, My Mom, and Hostess Gifts

November 25, 2009



I planned to dedicate my first official post to the color gray.  Seemed fitting for a variety of reasons (which I will discuss when I actually get to my post on gray).  But as it happens I just can’t seem to get Thanksgiving off my mind. Perhaps it is because I am relieved that I am not hosting this year or perhaps it has something to do with my kids home from school all day (making it nearly impossible to be at all productive).  Maybe it is just because I am hungry.  Whatever the reason, I feel compelled to write about Thanksgiving.

I won’t offer you any advice on how to prepare a turkey or set the table since this year I am merely a guest.  To be honest, I like it that way.  We’ll be celebrating the holiday at my mother’s house this year and being there on Thanksgiving means the world to me.  On Thanksgiving Day, 39 years ago, my mother came to America from a small village in Croatia to marry my father.  She landed on American soil knowing no English, wearing the only coat and dress she owned and carrying only a small suitcase.  Inside it held some simple clothing, a pink set of towels (which she still owns) and the equivalent of $100 – all the money her father had earned that season picking tobacco.  Since that very moment, she has courageously embodied the American dream.  Through hard work, perseverance and a resolve to embrace and appreciate each and every opportunity this country offered, she shaped a remarkable life for herself and for her family.  With the love of her life by her side, she put her children through college, provided them a home and a life that many could only dream of and showed them – not merely told them but really showed them – that ultimately life is what you make it.  By instilling in them the importance of education, an unrivaled work ethic and a sense of compassion for and commitment to friends and family, she taught them – without ever really saying it – that no matter where life takes you simply be grateful for who you are, the gifts that you have, and the people you love.

So there you have it.  I thought my first content based post would be about a color that I love complete with inspiring images.  Instead, it is about something far more meaningful and eternally inspirational.  This blog is dedicated to things that inspire and move me, as well as the beautiful, creative, thoughtful people and things that I admire most. It is rather fitting that this first post is about my mother.

She’ll make an extraordinary meal today.  The house will be immaculate, the table will look perfect and it will all seem effortless.  She’ll prepare a homemade cheesecake that will, as always, entice us to eat even though we’ve already loosened our belts.  And I will walk in empty handed.  She is one of the few people I know who would be offended if I arrived with a hostess gift.  She is not our “hostess”, she is proudly….our mother.  But for the rest of you headed to visit friends and family throughout this holiday season, here are my picks for the Top 5 Host or Hostess Gifts perfect for fall.  After all, if I’m not throwing the party, the least I could do is bring a nice gift that says “thank you for doing this so I didn’t have to…”

Click here for my TOP 5 HOST/HOSTESS GIFTS.

And of course, Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.  For my friends and family so graciously and supportively previewing this blog, I hope you know how grateful I am for each one of you. xoxo


4 Responses to “Me, Thanksgiving, My Mom, and Hostess Gifts”

  1. rachel Says:

    hello from Rome
    What a beautiful tribute to your Mum, she sounds like a rather extraordinary woman.
    I am so glad to have met you in Sicily and that I can now keep in touch with you here.
    love to you and all your family

    • Thank you Rachel! We loved meeting you and expect that next time we are back in Rome, we will see you again! Or better yet, should you find yourself in Chicago, we expect a phone call – there are so many wonderful restaurants we can explore! Your blog is one of my favorites – I’m equal parts envious of your creative cooking and your mad photography skill! Please do stay in touch! Marija

  2. Rio Says:

    I love that you started a blog, I love the story about your parents and see SO clearly how you have become the person you are, and most importantly I love you!!! A Happy Thanksgiving to you and your whole family and give your mom a gentle hug from me.

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