When I think of Christmas, I remember the family gathered around the table and the house full of people, the children running from the kitchen to the living room, and vice versa. I have 9 siblings. When we add the sisters-in-law and the brothers-in-law, plus my nephews, the result is quite large. There was only one year when we were less than 10 around the table at Christmas supper.
Preparations always start in early December with the Christmas tree. The house smells of natural pine and moss, as we have the tradition of going to the woods to get the moss to make the nativity scene. As a child, it was one of the happiest moments of the year. Since the beginning of the Christmas month, there has been talk at home about who comes to spend Christmas at the parents' house, to start counting how many we are and how we are going to set the tables. Up to this year, the family has been growing due to the arrival of babies.
I never found gifts important, because what really matters and what has always been transmitted to me is the fact that we are all together, happy and in good health.
People have always been in and out of my house. On the 24th, not only family members come to wish a happy holiday, but also the neighbours, who ask Maria, my mother, to cook the traditional homemade bread. My mother's bread is well known in the village, so on the 24th, the bell doesn't stop ringing for the deliveries. In a single day, dozens of people pass by door number 100 to take fresh bread for their Christmas supper.
One of the things that I remember and that I still do with great passion today are Christmas concerts. I love doing Christmas concerts, the melodies are beautiful and the spirit I convey and what is felt in the concert hall fills my heart with happiness. There is a lot of applause and seeing people happy is the best reward I can have.
There is another memory that is still very present. This is also the time when the village festivities are celebrated. 26 December is the day of its patron saint, so the celebrations last 3 days. It starts on the 24th, with the evening mass and ends on the night of the 26th with a music group. I always attended this party, met with my friends and we all walked together to watch the various activities that were planned in the programme. What we did most at the time was riding bumper cars.
Currently, the house is still full, there is the smell of natural pine, there is Maria's homemade bread, there is that joy that Christmas brings due to the music and the decorated streets. Still, I think that as a child the experiences are unique and different from now that we are adults. We are so busy with other personal and professional responsibilities that these moments, which as a child are inexplicable days, now always end up in the background. And I say this because I find myself thinking at certain times: “it still doesn't feel like Christmas”, due to this frenzy of activities that life forces us to do.
These are my memories of Christmas, which I will always remember with a lot of nostalgia. May they be repeated for many years alongside those I love the most.
This text was written by an FMUL employee who chose not to identify him-herself.