She loves Christmas and awaits it with great anticipation, while he is a self-proclaimed “Grinch”, inspired by the ill-tempered fictional character - created by Dr. Seuss - who hates Christmas and anything to do with the holiday season.
We sat down with them to find out how they’re preparing for their first Christmas Down Under.
What’s the first word that comes to your mind when you think of Christmas?
Michele (M): Presents
Lisa (L): Family
What’s your earliest childhood memory of Christmas?
M: Snow outside the Church at midnight Mass; I would’ve been around 10 years old.
L: I’ve never been good at surprises. One year I wanted the Blue album and I was so scared that I wouldn’t like my present that I wanted to go out and buy it before Christmas. I later discovered that my parents had bought me the album!
Buying Christmas presents: fun or painful?
M: It depends who the present is for. Fun for those I love, but painful for those who aren’t as close to me. My girlfriend writes me a wish list, so it’s fairly easy!
L: Definitely fun! I prefer to give them than get them. I love the feeling of finding and buying a specific present, thinking about the person who’ll receive it.
When do you start thinking about decorating the house and setting up the Christmas tree?
M: Never! I’ve never done it. Maybe I inherited this attitude from my family, as we stopped decorating the house after a while.
L: In September. This year I’m going for a tropical theme.
Christmas lunch: at home or at a restaurant?
M: Always at home, usually at my nonna’s. The menu was improvised and everyone brought something, nothing too fancy though.
L: At home, to avoid the stress of having to be seated all the time. But every minimal detail has to be considered: cutlery, napkins and table decorations.
Going on holiday for Christmas: yes or no?
M: I’ve never done it but I would!
L: No. Christmas should be spent with family.
This is your first hot Christmas. What are you expecting?
M: I’m expecting it to be much better. I hate the cold.
L: I’m worried it won’t have the same atmosphere. In fact, I’m preparing myself for this, and I’ve already started listening to Christmas songs.
How will you celebrate this year?
M: My girlfriend’s family is here on holidays. I hope we spend it at the beach soaking up the sun.
L: At my cousins’ house. It scares me because they have a pool, and it’ll be strange to go for a swim on Christmas day! The Mass will also be strange compared to the midnight Mass I always attended in Italy.
What present are you hoping to receive this year?
M: Good question. I’ve never been a fan of present requests. I always buy myself the things I want, so I’ve never had the need to receive something in particular. If I had to choose, I’d say maybe an experience, like a tour or a day out, as opposed to something material.
L: A camera. Or if that’s too much, some activewear.
Is there anything else you’d like to add regarding why you love or hate Christmas?
M: I began to despise Christmas when I started receiving underwear from my family! It’s like killing two birds with one stone: they’re a gift but they’re also a necessity.
L: I’d like to do some charity work this year, because I feel all of this compassion but I’ve never done anything about it. I think this year would be the right time because I don’t have any expectations regarding presents or celebrations. All I know is that I’ll be with my family and will reconnect with the true spirit of Christmas. I’ve been blind in past years, but it’s time to do something for others.