by Melinda Gallo

'Tis the season

You can definitely tell it's Christmas here in Florence. There are lights hanging between the buildings on all the major streets and there's a big tree with lights in Piazza Repubblica (which is in the picture here). I went downtown to window shop and to watch the crowds of people, mostly shopping in twos, searching for gifts and lugging bags around.

Living in Florence :: 'Tis the season

The Florentines seem to be in a great mood as well. A woman in Coin looked back at me when I walked in and said, "Buona sera!" Coin is a department store in the center of town, so it's unexpected that anyone say anything to you when you walk in. I was quite content by her greeting, responded to her with a big smile. I love the holiday season!

I can't believe that Christmas is this Sunday! Since Dave and I have already exchanged gifts and celebrated with Dave's family in Colorado back in October, I feel like I'm not really feeling festive now. I don't want Christmas to be over just yet, but a part of me is more looking forward to the new year.

I'm planning on getting a few presents for a few of my girlfriends whom I haven't seen in months, probably since this summer. Marta and Debora both want to see me on Friday, which is a surprise since we haven't been able to really even talk on the telephone for months. It's odd because I feel like I'm always home and yet no one calls me. But, I am also to blame since I don't call them either. The most we do is exchange an SMS or two each week.

I was happy to get a few Christmas cards this year. I feel bad because I used to be so good at buying cards and sending them out, but over the past few years I haven't done that. I keep hoping each year, I'll just do it, but I don't. I do know that I will as I certainly love sending them to people. I especially love getting pictures of my friends and their kids. I love spending Christmas with children because they have so much joy and love for the holiday. It's so amazing to see their little faces when they open presents.

We don't really have any plans so far for Christmas although we might go to my friend Simone's restaurant for lunch or dinner. It seems we always go to his restaurant to celebrate; I guess it just proves that we really love it! We're not too stressed out about what the plan is because in the end, Dave and I will have a great meal and spend Christmas together.

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