Create your new Christmas traditions with meli melo

We asked Melissa Del Bono (MDB), Founder and Creative Director of meli melo, artist Olivia Steele (OS) and art collector Federica Fanari (FF) about their traditions


What does Christmas mean to you?

FF: Christmas means being with my wonderful, loving family and of course lots of amazing food. This year is even more special and full of happiness as I have the honour of being a mother myself.


MDB: Being part of a British/Italian family at Christmas always meant twice the fun and twice as many traditions. My favourite day when I was a child was choosing the tree with the whole family and making a new set of homemade decorations to hang up together – my kids now do the same with me. We were lucky to grow up in a warm family home, but so many aren’t as lucky.

For me this is such an important lesson to teach my kids. I want them to understand that Christmas is about sharing with those who are less fortunate and so every year we sing carols for the elderly. We also go to Mass every year, so that the kids get to understand the real meaning of Christmas

OS: Christmas for me means Detox. For the past 5 years, I spend the holidays in Asia detoxing. It is a gift I give to myself to get away from all the holiday mania, family drama, consumer culture, and over indulgence of food and alcohol. The rest of my year is so filled with constant manifesting, problem solving, indulging and celebrating, so the best thing I can do for myself is retreat, relax, dive inside and get in shape


My favourite Christmas tradition is making my gifts. Every year I make a new series of gifts for my nearest and dearest... Whatever it is, it’s made by me and comes from the heart
Olivia Steele

What is your favourite Christmas tradition? And how do you get ready for the festive season?

OS: My favourite Christmas tradition is making my gifts. Every year I make a new series of gifts for my nearest and dearest, anything from hand-stamped silver jewellery to printed scarves or notebooks, whatever it is, it’s made by me and comes from the heart


FF: Last year my husband surprised me and bought a Christmas tree, decorated it and made me an advent calendar. This is my new favourite tradition!


MDB: Decorating the tree with my kids and husband is a highlight. A few years ago, I made a feather wreath with my kids and it looked amazing but when I went to get it out the next year, it was all tangled up – typical me! My husband couldn’t stop laughing when he saw it so that hasn’t become a tradition!

We have a very British Christmas with all the trimmings, waking up on Christmas day to open our stockings in bed and guessing what each present is before we unwrap it, followed by a pre-lunch bloody mary before we all sit down for a huge Christmas feast.

It’s always a mix of Italian and British food but for me, Christmas lunch isn’t complete without bread sauce


The new art bags: Olivia Steele edition
Last year my husband surprised me and bought a Christmas tree, decorated it and made me an advent calendar. This is my new favourite tradition
Federica Fanari

What is the one image that comes to mind when you think about Christmas?

MDB: The vision of my kids’ excited faces on Christmas morning


OS: Hmmm … snow and horses


FF: The gift of joy I have been blessed with, my son

We were lucky to grow up in a warm family home, but so many aren’t as lucky... I want my kids to understand that Christmas is about sharing with those who are less fortunate and so every year we sing carols for the elderly
Melissa Del Bono

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