December, December.... I was waiting for you.
Haven't you always been my favorite time of the year?
Since I was a little child I have always looked for magic...looking for that unusual temporary point of view that would make it possible to have things look differently. And we know that it is in differences that one can find truth.
In December things usually look different. People become Christmas people. Everything is brighter than ever and cities like Florence literally shine with all this Christmas lights (which every year get uglier and uglier, as if they were chosen by a poor blind bloke who then tries to put them on the city centre trees properly. As a result you have streets that seem huge shining twistings and turnings - if you did not have a headache, now you have it). In December people smile more. People find new sources of satisfaction (yes, I'm talking aout you, middle aged woman with red hair and five children screaming and trying to destroy the supermarket.Yes, you go to the supermarket, you grab the last poor chicken abandoned alone on the shelf and, looking at your enemy straight in the eyes, with a soft, sweet and Christmas voice you say "I'm sorry, I won. You can have the turkey. Or a fried egg. Or a pre-cooked pizza. Let's face it, you've been a terrible cook since high school. Maybe this is the reason why you will be alone on Christmas Day with your cat, your grandma who doesn't recognize you and your turkey. By the way, Have a nice Christmas. God bless your family"...I adore such lovely women). Moreove, though only for a few days, someone really manages to be a little less selfish: you spend hundreds of euros for presents to all your people, then realize that all this waisting of money is totally against (your, not mine) God and all his talking about being humble ecc ecc, therefore your guilty soul needs to be saved. So you finally decide to act and prove yoursel you still have a soul somewhere and that soul knows the word "forgiveness". You decide to speak again with that friend of yours you hated since she told you you were a sad selfish isolated crazy schizophrenic young woman with hips large like the Florentine Dome. But it's Christmas, and Christmas means forgiveness. (and of course this has NOTHING to do with the fact that a friend of a friend told you that she broke up with her man and put on weight while you finally manged to lose it and look fairly fabulous. and is it your brain that goes on singing "white revenge" instead of "white Christmas"?! No way, there must be some kind of misunderstanding. You are a lovely sweet person, always was). At Christmas time you become more patient and when you find yourself stuck in traffic you start yelling at the whole human race and at the one who started all of this. you curse the creation day and start asking yourself why the hell someone smart like God one day had this bright idea of creating such an idiot race. Well, at least you are talking about God. Christmas takes you closer to God. Then one day the judging day will come and you'll have to explain all your talking and yelling.. but this is why they invented Easter... You act like a total stupid and superficial Christmas-God-hater, then you have about three months to repent your sins and ask for forgiveness. Ready for the next Christmas' hypocrisy. The genius of Catholicism..
Anyway, whether you are a religious person or not, in some way you change during the holidays. I mean, everyone - even the most convinced of atheists - literally adores going to church on Christmas Eve. Would you believe it?! She's here with her new boyfriend in those hideous red shoes.... Simply pathetic. A shame. And on Christmas Eve!
Christmas is magic, I know it is. And it is also that period of the year when people really are themselves and are not afraid of showing a little more love. Christmas can be all about appearances and waisting money. But it is also something about truth. At Christmas you can see contraddictions and hypocrisy, but also the desire for happiness. You can see that need to see something good in everyone. And whether this is a religios or commercial issue, I think is something truly human and fascinating. It's true. It's powerful. It's Christmas. And it's presents. Everyone likes presents. It's love. Even for a cynical atheist like me.