|These Nandina domestica -- Heavenly Bamboo -- berries are so festive. If only, they weren't so toxic to birds. . . .|
In sharp contrast, this first December Monday sees us packing up to head to a small town near Rome. Other than planning and packing for the trip (lists, lists, and more lists!), this Christmas promises to be the least stressful/easiest ever, although I've yet to know how I'll feel about leaving our three families here to celebrate without us. Our condo will be full while we're away: first, one family will take refuge from their kitchen reno; then the out-of-town crew will use it as a home base for their holiday visit; and on Christmas Day, our kids, their partners, and the grandkids will cook and enjoy their turkey dinner in our kitchen. Who knows, there may even be decorations here, perhaps a tree for Santa to put a visiting two-year-old's gifts under, but all my Christmas boxes are staying in storage.
Nor am I rushing to buy and wrap gifts to be opened in my absence. Santa is always generous to these little ones, and I've decided that we give enough through the year to give us a Free Pass this Christmas. I am going to try to pick up a few picture books for the Italian Three (there's obviously a dearth of those where she lives and they don't take up much space), and I hope to make a trip into Rome to drool over toys at Al Sogno (finally, thank you Georgia!) where I'll be happy for an excuse to buy something for a girl I rarely get to see open her presents.
to the Christmas before last, our last Christmas on our little island, where our neighbours decorated similarly albeit in a much different setting. So many changes in that relatively short span of two years, some of them wrenching. But overall, I'm happy to report, I feel very lucky to be heading off to visit our family in Europe, and I know that when I get back in January, this urban condo will welcome me home.
For now, though, I've got those lists. And lists. . . .Only four more sleeps. . . .