by Melinda Gallo

Buon Natale

Today Dave and I went to Simone's restaurant "Il Canapone" near Santo Spirito for Christmas lunch. We woke up late and walked here in the overcast and cold Winter day. The streets were quiet with hardly anyone around.

Christmas is normally a day only spent with family, so it was nice that Simone's restaurant was open today. We seem to only go out to eat at his place, so it is like our second home.

The restaurant was beautifully decorated with lights hanging on all the walls and front door. We were welcomed with two glasses of prosecco (dry champagne). "Tanti auguri!" (Best wishes!) Simone yelled to us from the kitchen as we walked to the bar.

We didn't know anyone else eating here so Dave and I just talked. It was nice to just sit and talk just the two of us without any interruptions.

We opened our gifts the night before. We usually wait until Christmas day, but I'm not as patient and I like to open them on Christmas Eve. Dave agreed since I had been waiting until Christmas day in the past few years...change is good.

It feels odd to be away from our families, especially our nieces and nephew. Children make Christmas so special. My favorite moment is watching their faces light up as they rip open their gifts.

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