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Amanda Knox's 3rd Christmas in Prison

Amanda Knox is about to spend her third Christmas in a row in a sprawling prison outside the medieval city of Perugia . . . with the prospect of many more to come.

Her mother said the 21-year-old Seattle student is doing as well as can be expected in the face of a 26-year sentence for murder.

"It's going to be hard," Edda Mellas told CBS News correspondent Allen Pizzey. "We didn't even talk about Christmas, because we're not going to get a Christmas."

Knox's former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, also convicted and sentenced to 25 years for the murder of Knox's British roommate Meredith Kercher, told Italian newspapers through his lawyer that the idea of Knox killing Kercher was, in is words, "absurd and unrealistic."

Knox is said by her parents to be hoping for a job in the prison laundry.

The U.S. Embassy in Rome has been monitoring the case. Mellas met with Embassy officials on Friday.

"They're saying it will be a new prosecutor, new judges they will take a look at if there's contradictions in evidence," Mellas said.

In an interview with British TV, Amanda's father, Curt Knox, said the legal team was waiting for what he called "a key piece of information."