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Two turtle doves and a pi-i-i-int of pig's blood
Two turtle doves and a pi-i-i-int of pig's blood

For many years, when my children were young, we made our home in countries around the Mediterranean, following the children's journalist father wherever his assignments took him, from Spain to France to Lebanon and Cyprus, and then to a farm in the mountains between Tuscany and Umbria. Christmas there was very different from what we'd known in America: low-key, quiet, family-focused. Over time we witnessed the slow invasion of stars and poinsettias, and strings of colored blinking lights. And then one year we spied the first Christmas tree displayed in the front room of the farmhouse next door, taking the place of the traditional creche. Santa Claus was coming. Still, some things...

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