Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit.
To create a café vibe, cover tables with checkered tablecloths ($15 for 12 disposable 52-by-90-inch cloths, orientaltrading.com) and string white holiday lights and a red-, green-, and white-striped garland ($2.50 for a 12-foot garland, theitalianamerican connection.com) around the room. (If you have leftover Christmas supplies, such as paper streamers, utensils, and the like, they’ll work well with this red-and-green color palette.)
For place mats, make color copies of the Italian flag (click the "Little Italy Place Mat" icon above to download) or a map of Italy.
Let kids channel the Super Mario Brothers with stick-on paper mustaches (click the "Stick-On Mustaches" icon above to download).