Christmas Card 2021

A Story for a wintry afternoon…. As many of you know, my Christmas Card Story usually gets posted in the weeks following Christmas, sometime between Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Easter Sunday. This year, this seems the perfect week for it. The temperatures are low and the daylight is short… perhaps a story about this little Bakery in the Italian Section of the Bronx a few years before the turn of the century will help remind us to appreciate how much Beauty and Value can be found in the simplicity of what we do. It is sprinkled with Miracles and Italian expletives!

It has been a wild ride these past two years. Perhaps Showing Up for our Lives is the Miracle!
The idea of sending this out after Christmas is in part to remind us all to celebrate Gratitude, Readiness, Openness and Willingness, and all the values of Christmas the whole year through… The other part is that it takes me a while to write it! 🙂
It is sent to you with Gratitude for our manifesting here upon this planet at the same time, for our paths crossing, for the Life that we share, and with Love…

The Course in Miracles says, “There is no such thing as coincidence and chance plays no part in God’s plan.” The poet, HAFIZ, says, “This place where you are now. God circled on a map for you.”

 And so, inspired by the idea of just how Lucky and Blessed we truly are, I offer the following story…
Perhaps you would like to make yourself a cup of hot chocolate, or bubbling herbal tea, or some delightful warm beverage, and take a little time to cozy up and enjoy this Story Adventure…

Un Fornaio Cuoce (A Baker Bakes)

By Arnold J. Mungioli

I. * * * * Mama * * * *

You would have thought her a crusty old lady. Pugnacious and confrontational, Mama was a tough First Generation Italian American Woman from the Bronx with a heart of gold! If you were a child and walked into her bakery, you would often be hit over the head with a breadstick just a little too hard, and then she would smile the warmest smile and hand it to you. It was an act of generosity, as she saw it. She had made the breadstick herself, so it was a heartfelt and handmade gift. Moreover, she never wanted to see any child go hungry. But no kid likes to be hit over the head with a breadstick. Often the children would cry just from the shock of it, not because they were hurt at all. And Mama would dismiss the child disparagingly and unsympathetically as â€śshpeel la beep’,” “mingherlino” or â€śaffamato.” She didn’t trust skinny people. And she held firm the belief that to spare the rod was to spoil the child.

“Shpeel la beep’” in Mama’s Italian dialect meant literally, “pipe cleaner” and was used derogatorily to insult a skinny person. Growing up as her daughter — a Second Generation Italian American Girl — these dialect expressions would fly by when the families got together – sometimes you would get a translation. More often than not, you’d get slapped for asking because somehow you were supposed to know that it was a dirty word and not appropriate to ask about that one.

Eventually you would learn to just accept that some phrases get translated and others you just have to figure out for yourself – decipher from sequence context. As I tell you Mama’s story, you’ll learn to do that too.

: Christmas Card 2021 (more…)

Christmas Card 2019

Well here it is, February again!
Yes, it is earlier than usual this year.
The writing process is completely individual — mine is somewhat bulky and painstaking, as I grapple with words and mud wrestle with the angel. But what are we as creative artists if not willing to surrender our complete vulnerability?
So, while on one level it may seem absurd to be sending out a Christmas Card story some six weeks after Christmas, I feel that it is always a good time to share kindness and light and tidings of comfort and joy!
Please accept these good wishes as they are intended…
to lift your heart; to lift your spirit; to send you Light and Love in the midst of troubling and turbulent times…
(more…)

Christmas Card 2018

For those who know me, my Christmas Card arriving in February is somewhat of a tradition — well, February might even be a bit early!
Christmastime itself is a time to be fully present. I enjoy this time of year with my partner and with my big Italian Family from all parts of the globe, as well as friends in different locations.
We still decorate our home in a way that requires several days to put up and several days to take down, and of course, we celebrate all Twelve Days of Christmas.
Somewhere in that experience, I will invariably experience some spark to my Soul of something I would like to share with everyone!
This year, I was stricken by the possibility of angels. Not as occurring in a separate time and place, or long ago, but amidst and amongst the physical realities of simple family gatherings and amongst time together with friends.
And so, (more…)

Christmas Card 2017

It’s Arrived!
For those who may not know, My Christmas Card usually arrives sometime midwinter.

After so many years, it has become somewhat of a Tradition!
I think of it as one way to Celebrate the Values of Christmas the Whole Year through!
As we get deeper into Winter, reminders of Kindness, Generosity, Love, Peace on Earth and Good Will toward Everyone are generally Welcome and Appreciated.
I hope that this story can be that for you.
And So, today, on this snow covered morning in the middle of February, I offer you my Christmas Card.
Feel free to curl up with a  Mug of Hot Cacao, or your favorite Tea, and Enjoy!
Sent to you with Love and Wishing You all the Bountiful Blessings of Winter…

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Christmas Card 2015

IMG_2593…At Last!
And this year, it’s posted before WASHINGTON’S BIRTHDAY! 🙂
For those who don’t know, My Christmas Card traditionally arrives sometime in January or February, but has always made it out before Easter Sunday! After so many years, it has become somewhat of a Lovely Tradition!
I think of it as one way of Celebrating the Values of Christmas the Whole Year through!
As we get deeper into Winter, reminders of Kindness, Generosity, Love, Peace on Earth and Good Will toward Everyone are generally Welcome and Appreciated.
I hope that this story can be that for you.
And So, here even in the middle of February, I offer you my Christmas Card.
Feel free to curl up with a  Mug of Hot Cacao, or your favorite Tea, and Enjoy!
Sent to you with Love and Wishing You all the Bountiful Blessings of Winter…

(more…)