My Christmas holidays started on the 8th of December when I, together with my mother and sister, made the Christmas tree, decorated the house with colorful garlands and objects and hanged lights out of the windows. School was still ongoing, but the Christmas spirit was already everywhere and I have been busy finding presents for my family and best friends since then.
On the 23rd I helped my mother with the shopping and the preparations for the Christmas lunch when, typically, the family of my father’s side gathers at our place.
On Christmas Eve we had a traditional Bolognese lunch at my other grandmother’s - my mother side of the family. My aunt and uncle were there and my oldest cousin as well. We had the tortellini my grandmother had personally made, in a broth. As always, they were delicious. After lunch we made the dishes and then covered the table with a green cloth, took out a big jar full of old lira coins and played cards for a couple of hours. Later in the afternoon, my uncle and auntie left to get ready for dinner while we went back home, had a light fish dinner and watched a holiday movie on TV all together.
On Christmas Day I woke suddenly and hopeful. I rushed down the stairs and went immediately to the Christmas tree to check the number and size of the presents. My sister joined me a heartbeat later and we fought together the urge to unwrap the packages on the spot. So we noisily headed to the kitchen and prepared our breakfast, all the time talking very loudly. As soon as our parents appeared in the door frame, we dropped the mugs and darted eagerly to the presents, taking our time only for a brief kiss and greetings of Merry Christmas to our parents. There were four gifts for me, and the best one was a Canon photocamera with 18-200 mm zoom lenses. I couldn’t wait to try it, so I immediately put the battery to charge.
For lunch we had some leftover lasagna from a couple of nights before. We didn’t want to eat much, well knowing what was awaiting for dinner. After a brief nap in the afternoon, we started preparing the living room and the food for our guests that would be arriving soon after 5 pm. The dinner would be organized as a buffet, from finger food to several salty cakes from my aunties and the “pizza rustica” of my grandmother. In fact, she’s originally from the south of Italy and she makes this very appetizing salty cake stuffed with ham and mortadella, melting cheese and mozzarella, parsley and eggs. We love it and I know I will be challenging my cousin again on who is going to be able to eat more of it. In the meantime my sister selected some tens of Christmas songs to burn in a CD to play as background to the party.
The family started to arrive on time in small groupings of 2 to 4 and soon the living room was stuffed with talkative relatives. While the older aunties and grandparents were attacking the buffet, I and my sister took our cousins and went to play in our room, where we have a basket hanging on highest wall and harmless sponge balls. Only when our parents called us downstairs we remembered that we were in the mid of a collective party and we made our reappearance just when the pizza rustica was about to be served, together with at least five different veggie sides. As the yearly challenge began, we suddenly were too busy eating, but my cousin, who’s older and a lot taller than me, managed to eat two full slices of pizza more than me. Although I had lost again, I was much fulfilled.
At the end of the dinner, my father recovered the Champagne bottles that he had previously put out the window to chill, and we had a toast all together. We then played Tombola and I won the right not to help my mother in the kitchen for a whole month.
It was midnight when everybody left, and we were so tired that we decided to clean in the morning – I would claim my prize starting from New Year’s – and crashed into bed.
Boxing Day was quite uneventful. I and my sister helped our mother to tidy up and then with dad we went for a walk in the snowy park to try my new photocamera. In the evening we went out for an aperitif all together and then to watch a movie at the cinema.
I had really fun during my Christmas Holidays. Even if it was with family, my cousins and I always have a lot of fun as there only a few years difference among us. But I can’t wait for New Year’s party because that I will be spending with my friends and I know we are going to have a lot of fun.