Following much time and effort on my part, we have finally booked our tickets to go back to England to spend Christmas with my family. This will be Luca's first proper trip to England (we spent two hours in London whilst waiting for a connecting flight in April) and I absolutely can't wait to introduce him to my culture and the people and places that are important to me. We spend so much time in 'his world', surrounded by Italian / Sicilian culture and traditions (which is fine but...), that I am desperate to take him to my world for a few days - and Christmas time will (hopefully!) show it at its best. I was chatting to a friend the other day about the difference between Christmas in Italy and in the UK / US. I know that I am obviously biased given the fact that I grew up in England and so have all of those warm, fuzzy memories of Carols from Kings and the Queen's speech every year for the last 27 years. However, as a holiday, Christmas seems to be so much bigger at home than it is here in Italy. Maybe this is because there are so many religious holidays / festivals here, or perhaps the fact that Italian families tend to be close by nature, whereas in the UK it is normal to see your closest relatives only at Christmas, Easter, and, if you're lucky, once in the summer. Obviously this depends on whether or not you actually like spending time with your family...
So, being in a festive mood, I've been making a mental list of all the things that come to mind when looking forward to Christmas at home.
LOVE the smell of pine needles and cinnamon in my mum & dad's house
DON'T LOVE the fact that said pine needles tend to find their way into your socks - whilst they're on your feet...
LOVE the "holidays are coming" Coca-Cola advert!
DON'T LOVE the fact that they start to show it in September...
LOVE my mum's turkey dinner - best meal of the year
DON'T LOVE the stomach cramps that come on around 2 hours later
LOVE "Carols from Kings" & "The Snowman" on Christmas Eve
DON'T LOVE the fact that they both make me cry
LOVE the fact that almost all the houses on the street are decorated with fairy lights
DON'T LOVE the fact that each neighbour tries to out-do the next by putting up bigger and better displays each year
LOVE walking to the pub on Christmas morning
DON'T LOVE walking back from the pub ( gin and tonic at 11:30 in the morning doesn't seem to agree with me...)
LOVE Nat King Cole singing Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire
DON'T LOVE Nat King Cole singing Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire
Yep, I'm really feeling in a festive spirit now - can't wait!!!