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Barbara Lombardo of Saratoga Springs, NY, is a journalism adjunct at University at Albany and retired executive editor of The Saratogian, The Record and the Community News. Follow her on Twitter @Barb_Lombardo.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Before we fall off the fiscal cliff: Happy New Year!

Just want to take a moment to wish you, readers, a Happy and Healthy New Year.
Can’t believe the “holiday season” is over. I’m lucky; I get to celebrate all the Judeo-Christian holidays.
As a kid growing up in a kosher home in a mostly Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn, the only time I touched a Christmas tree ornament was when a friend who lived down the hall in the projects placed one in my hand. I promptly crushed it to bits, unaware of its fragility. Give me a sturdy menorah and eight nights of Hanukkah.
Culture shock set in as a teenager relocated to the rural/suburban Village of Voorheesville on the foothills of the Helderbergs. It wasn’t until then that I realized I was living in an essentially Christian country, and for the first time I felt very much the outsider. I found a sense of community in a Jewish youth group.
Fast forward a few decades: At SUNY Binghamton I fell in love with a Catholic with whom I’m still in love — with 34 years of marriage under our belt.
I lit the menorah — this year using the electric one my dad made — and the week before Christmas, put up a tree. One of my traditions is welling up as my son 23-year-old son Joe and I hang my most precious ornaments, the ones hand-painted by my mother-in-law, who died much too young at age 59. My favorite shows our house in winter with a 2-year-old David, who’s now 25, bundled up in a snowsuit.
Well, the religious holidays are over, and now it’s New Year’s Eve. That’s one we can all celebrate, right?
I’ll be heading out shortly for an evening with a couple who were married a week before us. We’ve welcomed in the New Year together for more years than I can remember, at parties, family get-togethers and foursomes. That’s another tradition I treasure.
I’m the first to make New Year’s resolutions and the first to break them. One that I’d like to keep is to make my husband happy by being on time. Let’s see if I can start with that right by being on time for New Year’s Eve.


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