This year's Christmas tree is an in-memoriam branch from the fallen oak. Pretty much as soon as we brought it in, leaves started falling off it en masse, so that the living-room floor now looks like autumn. By Christmas Day itself the tree was nearly naked, apart of course from the tasteful decorations, some of which go back to when Alessio was an infant and we made decorations out of paper and swirls of glitter. Looking at them, we decided these are actually a whole lot prettier than much of the crap you buy in the shops. And we have no angel on the top, but we do have a slightly sinister hanging corn dolly that Alessio once made on a school trip to somewhere. Happy Christmas, faithful readers.