To state the Newtown tragedy hit home would simply be an understatement. As we all grieve for the 20 angels and six educator heroes that died only 11 days from Christmas morning, what usually might be six-degrees of separation from this tragedy is now zero, one or at most two degrees.
It also seems â€œdegrees of separationâ€ is not correct, but rather zero, one or two degrees of connection. I am sure I speak for many when I say I will always remember where I was when I heard the news of this tragic event.
It seems our community has once again wrapped its arms just a little tighter around each other this holiday seasonâ€”and wanted to share some spots that I go to enjoy the true meaning of the holidays. I have always enjoyed weekend brunch atÂ Sugar Bowl.
Bobâ€™s childlike enthusiasm for holidays is contagious as you sit under 800-plus decorations hanging from the ceiling as he hands out musical toys to kids of all agesâ€”from "one to ninety-two." Bob even takes notice when Jack Henry eats every last bite of his meal and remembers what he orderedÂ next time. Â
Last weekend, as I waited to pick up some wrapped gifts atÂ Darien Sport Shop, I sat down to listen to the musicianÂ Kelly SingsÂ sipping eggnog. As I waited, I told Gina Zangrillo at Darien Sport that I had missed having my sonâ€™s photo taken with Santa and his dog Rocky at PetsMart. Gina invited us to take our Christmas photo at the store with Santa and the dog.
As we made our annual trek to see Santa this Saturday morning, Rockyâ€™s excitement was also contagious as he bolted up the two flights of stairsâ€”as if he was trying out for Santaâ€™s reindeer team.
My 11-year old son Jack Henry started to belly laugh as Rocky almost took his mother off her feet in this holiday dash. As we waited in line to see Santa, the kids lit up to see Rocky also standing in line to see Santa. Rocky happily licked anyone that wanted to pet him as he waited. Our Santa photo will truly be a keepsake memory from this holiday season.
I have also become a regular atÂ Mama Carmelaâ€™s Italian DeliÂ where Frank always greets us personallyâ€”and starts the conversation where we left off without skipping a beat. On our early-to-rise mornings before school, our bacon, egg and cheese on a roll with Frank is our favorite tradition.Â Â
May we all remember the true spirit of this holiday season as we enter the new year and hug those in our community that have hugged us in this time of needâ€”and remember to pay it forward. Â