Two more weeks till Christmas and tonight I have about a million cookies to bake for the school’s annual Christmas market and a translation due tomorrow too. I finished my nephew’s gift last night and sent it off this morning.
Eight and Five have been decorating the apartment for the holidays. They assembled our plastic tree on their own this year and put all the ornaments on, letting me hang my two favorites, but that was all. One of the walls in the living room is almost completely covered with their Christmas drawings, which consist mainly of Santa and reindeer delivering gifts and a wide range of superheros celebrating Christmas while using myriad weapons on bad guys.
And sometimes Eight does comics:
We are staying in Italy this holiday season. In 2012, my parents moved west and we tried traveling all the way out there last year, but it was just too much for such a short time. We all got sick. No more! I said. So this year we’re staying put. Well, sort of. The boys will spend the holidays with their father skiing in the mountains with his family and it is, after all, only fair that they spend Christmas with him sometimes too.
Someone asked if I was sad I wouldn’t be going home for Christmas and the question confused me, because I had never thought of it that way. I am staying home for Christmas, and it sort of comes as a relief. Although I will miss my parents and my siblings and I wish I could be around for my new nephew’s first Christmas, I am not too sad at all, especially when I think of the skiing and the long runs, the reading and the sewing and the spending time with friends. I think it will be good.
Last night Eight stayed up to keep me company while I put the last few stitches in my nephew’s Christmas gift. He made me a necklace out of safety pins. We listened to our Christmas music and he sang the alternative lyrics to “Jingle Bells,” the ones I used to sing when I was his age, the ones the American kids at school taught him. He made his Santa comic and asked me to take a picture of it to show his Uncle Chris, his grandparents, his father, then he took a picture of me finishing up his cousin’s tiny, crooked quilt.
Oh how I love the holidays, the specialness of this time of year.