It can be a little lonely spending Christmas without extended family, but we decided to stay home for the holidays this year and do it up right. It has been a month-long celebration of craft projects, holiday music, parades, Christmas lights, and at least a gallon of egg nog. Paolo picked out a beautiful tree, and Luca has left most of the ornaments alone. This is a big improvement over last year, when we just accepted that the bottom three feet of the tree would be bare. There have been a couple of decor casualties, like when Luca was mouthing an ornament and hooked himself like a fish, or when he shattered a glass ball on the tree by riding a car into it.
There have also been some amazing moments of family harmony. Every morning Paolo opens a new door on the Christmas Countdown Calendar to get the small square of chocolate inside, and every morning he breaks it in half and gives a piece to Luca. Paolo also makes sure, when rummaging through the giant container of cookies sent by Grandma, to select cookies with a chocolate kiss in the center for himself and his brother, and a plain cookie for me. If I weren't absolutely swimming in chocolates and cookies (and peppermint bark, and sugar-coated nuts, and coffee cakes) at work, I might feel slighted. There's something deeply warming about seeing two people you love so much love each other.
I don't have to work tomorrow, and my Christmas Eve to-do list makes me giddy: Play with the boys, pick up a freshly baked pannetone, make hot chocolate, wrap presents, and bake cookies for Santa. Mopping and laundry can just damn well wait until the 26th. If the weather reports are correct, we may even wake up to a white Christmas. If that's not enough to put stars in your eyes, I don't know what is.