Over the past decade, in addition to the spiritual enrichment experienced on December 25th, I also hold special anticipation for a particular Christmas phone call. I remember when I was in the 6th Grade and a futuristic thought included being able to see the people you’d be talking to on the phone. Today, this face to face across the internet is how our global friendships stay intact. I’m still a little giddy when experiencing a World Wide Web conversation.
Within a living room strewn with torn wrapping paper and discarded ribbons, we piled close and let technology connect us with a family that owns at least half of our best memories from the past dozen years. There were nearly tears amongst us all as the faces appeared on the screen smiling and waving from Italy, and it wasn’t because of my terrible version of their native language. The bond between our families is extraordinary even though we don’t share a common language. Ame, Rosy, Laura, Marianna, Luca, and Stefano are as much a part of our family as those with whom we share DNA. As they walked us through their Christmas traditions, we reminisced about the one Tuscany Christmas Jill and I spent with them in 2004. They reminded us of tortellini, panettone, crostini misti, and turkey in gelatin (a main course that never made it on Jill’s favorites list). As Rosy, Ame and the family held each traditional Italian Christmas dish in front of the camera, our minds went right back to that time we sat in their company, shoulder to shoulder with no oceans between us. I have a feeling that’s why having 25 family members around our super-extended dining room table on Christmas day resonated so deeply with me.