This year we celebrated Christmas with sorrow in our hearts. My husband’s son passed away on December 15. The following day, my daughter-in-law lost her father. Needless-to-say, we were a bit distracted this season, but we had to still put in an effort because of my young grandchildren. We hid our tears and sad feelings the best we could.

We went easy on the appetizers and stuck to prepackaged Italian meats and cheeses with an array of olives. A family favorite is thin slices of Genoa salami rolled around a generous dollop of ricotta cheese with a green olive hidden in the center.

To everyone who sent condolences, we thank you. May those who left us rest in peace.

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