Franco is 6 years old and attends first grade. He shows me, with pride and a child’s smile, his Christmas craft made in class: a burlap bag filled with rice and shaped like a snowman. The little eyes, the nose and the hat, all right. In Franco’s heart there is the satisfaction of someone who, at his debut in elementary school, has made his first Christmas job.
I like to see this simple puppet as the emblem of the return to classic Christmas. That of sharing, company and being all together. Of exchanging scissors and colors, of sitting next to each other, exchanging words and a smile. Sometimes a little animated, but be patient. This is also the party.
Sardinia, in 2022, rediscovered the magic of Christmas. And maybe it wasn’t so obvious after all. I remember, and certainly all of you readers too, that just two years ago at this time there was silence and closure on the street. Many shutters were forcibly lowered by a virus, Covid-19, which has entered our lives, changing and turning everything upside down, even what has always been the most beautiful party of the year.
It was Christmas of the pandemic and fear. Made of restrictions and masks. The one in which the solemn mass was brought forward, to allow the faithful to return within the “famous” 10 pm, at the start of the curfew, on the days that we will always remember “in the red zone”. But above all that was the Christmas of long and large tables to be avoided, if possible, for oneself and for the weakest. Our parents, grandparents, and the most fragile. An exchange of greetings with mum and dad, preferably without kisses and hugs, being careful not to travel too much from one municipality to another. You and we were there, recounting the deserts of the streets and squares.
Then, last year, 2021, the Christmas of prudence. Yes, you could go out, but always wear masks and the ever-present green pass in your pocket. The green passport of which we journalists have told everyone’s stories, criticisms and opinions within a Cagliari limited in its party and private, as in 2020, even of the New Year’s Eve in the square. The only exception are the fireworks in the port, brought forward to December 30th. We have also seen these together on the PC and on the phone.
Now it’s Christmas 2022. To be precise, only a few hours separate us from December 25th. But the air of the holy celebration has already been breathed for weeks, just like when the word “pandemic” was only part of the history chapters and seemed so impossible for us. Sure, no goodbye to Covid. Science and numbers tell us so; and also the attention of those who, despite the fall of all known restrictions, have used some precautions to preserve their loved ones as much as possible. In recent weeks I have met many, especially teachers and in general people in constant contact with people, dust off the old masks. But certainly things have changed.
It’s the magic of Christmas. The comings and goings of the people, organized dinners and lunches, shows and entertainment in the streets. The traffic which, true, makes us impatient, but reminds us that we are close to the party. Then, the illuminations, the markets, the sweets. Without forgetting the nativity scenes, classic and animated, and the Christian solemnities. Everything is fine, or almost. Yes, because not far away in Europe the war does not stop and many have left their homes finding a Sardinian land which, despite the crisis, price increases and the thousand difficulties we know, has not forgotten the word welcoming towards those in need. But school chores, just like Franco’s, make us savor the sweet and simple aspects of these days.
From the editorial staff of the online newspaper Vistanet, then, Merry Christmas wishes to all of you readers, who read, watch and follow your city and your island with us every day. All through a screen, more or less large, listening to our voice that never tires of telling Sardinia.
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