Oh yes, Christmas again! Non-stop shopping, non-stop eating and most of all non-stop drinking. Who could resist?!
Sad to say, the magic of Christmas was ruined rather early for me, when I was around 3 years old. I had chicken pox (Father Christmas was failing already) so my Auntie’s boyfriend dressed up as Father Christmas and brought me toys in a big bin bag… I was so scared that I peed myself and they had to tell me there and then that Father Christmas didn’t exist in order to calm me down! So that was that mystery of Father Christmas gone. I don’t hold it against my Aunt’s boyfriend anymore but I am glad they are no longer together!!
In my Italian family, Christmas was and is always pretty messy…. Mad Italian women talking (shouting) about food, which in their mind is never enough! Italians and food have an unhealthy relationship.
To explain a bit more about this relationship, let me tell you of a time when I was a teenager and was on a plane with my Nan. She had a taken a plastic bag on board. When I dared ask what was in it, she said “it’s a rabbit”. I couldn’t believe it – we were only flying 40 minutes from where we lived in Rome! There was really no need to have taken a skinless rabbit with us on holiday… As a teenager, I felt ashamed of my Nan’s behaviour.
Aside from being loud, we share presents that no one really wants; some people even recycle old presents, mistakenly giving them back to the person who originally bought them. This has created more than one family argument at Christmas in our house!
The first time I went for Christmas to my in-laws here in England, everything was calm. Classical music was playing, there was a roaring fire and I was given presents that I actually liked. Amazing! It actually felt like Christmas. I knew then at this moment, that they could never ever meet my Italian family!
Then again, I suppose Christmas is about being with the people you love, even if you do happen to have a family like mine!
Merry Christmas to all from the Atlas office! Please note that we will close at 5PM on 23rd December and reopen on 4th January.