2021 marks Lavinia’s official third Christmas, but we can say that this has been the very first holiday she’s spent with her extended family having a minimum level of consciousness.
We talked to Lavinia weeks before our departure to Italy, to avoid any surprises or travelling tantrums. She did well when we went to Switzerland, although the Omicron variant outbreaks made our prep time a bit more troubled. She opened Hailey’s present (and my Secret Santa’s) the night before the departure.
We put together the Christmas tree and she looked very excited to carry her own luggage around!
Italian acclimatation? Nah, we’re good
Due to the pandemic, the last Christmas we spent with our extended family was in 2019; Lavinia was 2 months old. We know she has no major issues spending time with lots of people indoors, but we wonder how she would cope with staying more than 10 days out of her usual environment, spending 24/7 with a lot of people: both the grandparent couple, Giubba the dog, aunt Sara, uncle Michele, and Michele’s parents.
She did extremely well, going beyond our expectations: she got accustomed to the places very quickly, she ate amazingly, tantrums were limited to a couple of episodes, got along with everyone, and didn’t poke the dog too much. She also showed unexpected gratitude when unwrapping her Christmas presents(which were A TON). I didn’t realise toddlers at such young age were already capable of expressing this genuine feeling of gratitude.
Naps happened mostly daily at her usual time; when she couldn’t nap, she snoozed a little outside on the stroller. The night of Dec 31st, when outside it sounded like a war outburst, she slept undisturbed, literally like a baby.
Giubba the dog
I don’t think Lavinia has ever gotten very close to a pet, let alone sharing a house with one for so many days. She surprised me by being extremely gentle and considerate towards our family little dog (who is now almost 14 years old), respecting his space and stroking him when she was allowed to.
Italy + Christmas + family = LOTS OF FOOD
If we had to add a picture for every single food we ate at Christmas, this blog would have run out of media storage space. Lavinia tried new food, and while she enjoyed most of them, she didn’t like some. Everyone was pleased and amused to see in real life how Lavinia loves food and eating, spending a lot of time at the table with us. Toddlers usually can’t stay at the table for more than 20 minutes, but Lavinia knows that sitting with us means eating more food. Cheeky little bottomless monster.
Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t the sunny warm weather people would imagine: it rained for the vast majority of our stay. Temperatures weren’t bad, but it was miserably wet and humid most of the days. We did take advantage of every single ray of sun to get outside and play together.
Mention of honour goes to zia Sara, who took half a million pics and videos. Among all the 11 human beings + a dog, Lavinia’s favourite was her auntie, without the shadow of a doubt.
She also dressed up as Father Christmas to impress Lavinia, but as we could imagine it didn’t go very well. Lavinia definitely preferred when Father Christmas magically disappeared and zia Sara came back from the toilet break.
Hope you enjoyed this very short selection of all the media we produced during our holiday break in Italy. Maybe Lavinia won’t remember any of that as she grows up, but for sure we can say to her that she had a very nice, serene and happy time with all of us.