December has arrived and Christmas is fast approaching. Caterina crosses the city while the streets are dressed up, with lights and red and green festoons, the scent of roasted chestnuts and mulled wine that warms the crisp winter air. The Christmas atmosphere is palpable, all that remains is to think about how to decorate the house for Christmas. This morning she went to the garret to get the decorations and soon she will dedicate herself to the Xmas tree and decorating the whole house, starting from the entrance. Every year, she looks forward to seeing this time to relive the emotions of the holidays of past years and start thinking about the upcoming ones. For Caterina, the boxes of decorations are like chests full of memories she is very fond of: the festoons handmade with her mother, the balls that she gave her when she moved into the new house and the ones she bought by going to Christmas flea markets with friends…
The preparations begin by decorating the inevitable Christmas tree with golden balls, white bows and strings of lights to be turned on to create the most evocative atmosphere on Advent evenings. White and gold are Caterina’s favorite Christmas colors: the first reminds her of the snow in the mountains and the skiing holidays, a family passion since she was small, while gold is for her the symbol of the stars shining on Christmas Eve. With these colors she decorates the whole house – she hangs the stockings on the fireplace and the snowflakes origami on the windows, she arranges small lanterns on the shelves, a string of lights around the coat hanger – and of course the garland on the entrance door.
Every year, Caterina creates new decorations using fir branches, leaves and pine cones that she collects during walks in the park with her little dog Oliver. To help her there are always her nieces, Anita and Sofia, and her sister Laura: once again they spent a very nice afternoon around the big table in the living room, having fun with the colored ribbons and sprays full of golden glitter. And finally, a nice hot chocolate with lots of biscuits for everyone!
“The tree is decorated, the garland is ready, the decorations are in place” thinks Caterina to herself, sure that there is still something to do … “Of course! The special ingredient of Christmas: moments of joy to spend with the family “. Not only with relatives and closest friends, but with all the people we have close to us. The next morning Caterina takes a beautiful tin box, fills it with gingerbread men, closes it with a bow and goes to knock next door. For some time now, three students have rented the house next to her and several times it has happened to stop and chat. Once the door is opened, a big spontaneous smile welcomes Caterina and her Christmas sweets. The girls are really happy with that kind thought, which for them feels like home … and family.