Early Christmas loot

People in my office are quite generous this time of year.  Not only do some of them help to make the Christmas season less of a financial burden for me and my daughter, they tend to give me gifts that really make me appreciate just how small our world really is.

Phillipines: Lillian, the wonderful and cheery cashier from our building’s cafe, made me a huge gift package of homemade lumpia.  “Here!  Take it to your family and enjoy it this weekend!”  Saturday Night Lumpia Fry at my house, peeps!  Now I just gotta find that recipe she gave me earlier this year for her sweet & sour sauce.  Drool.

Italy: One of my directors spent a month touring Italy earlier in the Fall season.  Her destination?  Venice.  She never made it to Venice, though, and decided to spend her time in Naples and the Tuscany region visiting friends.  I found these deliciously lemon-scented soaps in a simple wrapping on my desk this afternoon:

Oh, how I wish there was such a thing as Smell-O-Vision

What gets me about these little soaps from Sorrento is that as soon as I caught the scent of them, I was mentally transported back to 1982.  Something about these soaps takes me to my childhood in Italy – my house, the neighbor’s house, the landlord’s house?  I’ve smelled this before.  Not only do these little lemons smell so good and look so beautiful, they also let me be six years old again, if just for three minutes.

 Italy (again!): Another director of mine gave me a fairly large container filled with chocolate truffles. Italian chocolate truffles!!  Honest to goodness, I checked the label.  Dark chocolate with dark chocolate truffle filling, milk chocolate with hazelnut chocolate filling, and milk chocolate with milk cream truffle filling.  I would post a picture of it but the contents of the jar have pretty much been torn to bits and pieces since I got home 2 hours ago.  Imagine candy wrappers strewn across the kitchen counter and chocolate smiles.  That’s my family tonight. DRUNK ON CHOCOLATE.

India:  This gorgeous gift was acquired yesterday during our Secret Santa gift exchange at our office luncheon.  We didn’t choose names in order to buy gifts for each other but instead played that game in which you can trade and steal and cause all kinds of hearty laughs and hurt feelings simultaneously.  I saw this when it was opened by someone else and conspired to take it from her and give her the opportunity to steal the Godiva chocolates from another coworker.  Our evil plan kind of worked out as that other coworker was able to get her Godivas back and my evil sidekick acquired Cold Stone Ice Cream chocolate truffles.  More importantly, I came home with this colorful key holder:

On a totally unrelated note, here’s a photo of my dachshund enjoying his new toy…an empty bottle of Mountain Dew:

Doin' the Dew with free sponsorship? Anyone??

(No, it doesn’t really make any sense to add this picture to the mix but I really just wanted to show him off.  That’s all.)


About Dena

I'm a suburban Clevelander by way of Oklahoma City, by way of North Florida, by way of Southern Maryland, by way of Upper Michigan, by way of Northern Italy, by way of Lower Michigan, by way of Texas. Because of living in so many places, I have something in common with almost everyone I meet. I love reading, writing, and American history (especially reading or writing about American history). I'm interested in culture of place, historical trauma, and writing about the kinds of histories most people don't know about.
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