Natale con la mia nuova famiglia

This morning we woke up to a peaceful city with the campane (bells) of a few churches nearby ringing. When I looked out the window, there were very few cars passing by. And, without buses running today, it seemed even quieter.

Alessandro's parents, my suoceri (in-laws), came to pick me up below our apartment in the piazza. My suocero (father-in-law) came upstairs to help carry down the three cestini (baskets) that I made up to give to them, to Alessandro's zii (aunt and uncle), and to their figliola (daughter) and her marito (husband).

I had never made up any cestini before, but had a lot of fun buying a few of my favorite things: a panettone, cioccolatini (chocolates) from Vestri, cantuccini (biscotti), vin santo, and spumante (sparkling wine). I bought the empty cestini, filled them up, wrapped them up in plastic, and tied a bow on top.

We had a quiet lunch with the two sets of parents with their children and their spouses. I had only met the figliola of the zii a few months ago, but they all made me feel very comfortable. The zia (aunt) kept trying to get me to eat more and more.

To me Christmas is about celebrating the bonds of family and spending time with the people I am closest with. I think I have celebrated very few Christmases with my own family ever since I moved overseas the first time in 1990. So, this year I was happy to feel welcomed and accepted into a new family for Christmas: it was all I truly hoped for this year.

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