Buon Natale from Florence! I love Christmas. I love the build up, the decorations the endless Christmas music, lights, snow, wrapping and giving gifts, the whole deal. Oh, also buckeyes. Can't forget the buckeyes. Peanut butter and chocolate is always a winning combination. Being in Florence makes the build up to Christmas a bit different. To help with the change, I brought a Christmas banner from Target and we bought a small wooden tree from Tiger (the cutest store out of Denmark). Although both are adorable, they don't QUITE feel the same as pulling out my huge bins of decorations and decorating our tree. I just love looking at all of our ornaments and thinking about when and where we bought them or what they mean. From about middle school on, my parents have given us ornaments each year. They usually coincide with events of the year and include everything from a swimmer to Big Ben and a Mini Cooper. We also love to buy ornaments in the different places we travel to each year. A small reminder of our adventures displayed proudly on our miniature tree! I usually bust out the tree and decorations as soon as Thanksgiving ends and leave it up until well into January. No shame in enjoying the cozy, glowing lights for as long as possible.
Another favorite Christmas activity is watching Christmas movies. We knew this would be a necessity in the packing department and we packed a large selection of movies. We have all the favorites with us including Home Alone 1 and 2 (the only ones that matter), Elf, Christmas Vacation, Miracle on 34th Street, and The Holiday. We also brought all the Harry Potter movies for a Christmas Day marathon. New tradition? I think so. In our little place, we pull up a couple chairs, set up the laptop, and cuddle on the love seat to watch our favorite movies. A great way to celebrate Christmas abroad!
Despite the lack of a Christmas tree and all of our usual decorations, Florence definitely doesn't lack in the Christmas spirit department. The city is full of lights, trees, decorations, music, nativities, and general merriment. We can walk just about anywhere in the city and find some source of Christmas spirit, even Christmas music in ENGLISH. It does my Christmas-loving soul good to soak it all up every time we step out of our apartment. So, even though our tree and decorations are packed away somewhere in our storage unit, all it takes is a quick stroll to find a bit of Christmas joy and spirit all over this city!
So for your Wednesday enjoyment, a collection of a festive Florence and Christmas all the way in Italy. Buon Natale to you and yours!