Can you hear it? Can you smell it? Can you feel it? Yes, I’m talking about Christmas. The Christmas tree is standing in your living room, the lights are hanging in the streets, pastries are in the oven and you hear Christmas carols literally anywhere. Are you excited? Is your body overflowing with joy? Mine sure is.
Nowadays Christmas has pretty much become a state of mind: as soon as the clock ticks midnight on the 1st of December, you basically transform from a zombie into the Grinch’s greatest enemy and you suddenly feel like you could do anything (only while dancing to Christmas tunes, obviously): you feel younger, fresher, sharper. But what do people look forward to, during this time of the year? Is it the gifts? Is it the atmosphere? Or is it something deeper, something more significant? In order to know more about what people think about Christmas, I decided to ask a question to teenagers, adults and elders in Foggia and Lucera: What’s the most magical thing about Christmas for you?
Let’s start with teens: 6 out of 10 people said that they find the atmosphere and the decorations (lights, Christmas trees...) magical; they stated that they feel happier when their city is festive and somehow even more relaxed. I’d like to point out that none of those interviewed aged between 18 and 20 mentioned gifts. This means that we teenagers aren’t as shallow as adults think! Moreover, 20% of teens gave food-related answers: my personal favorite is the girl who exclaimed: “I pupurat!”. No, it’s not German. Pupurat is the Lucera dialect for mostaccioli, which are delicious traditional Apulian biscuits based on almonds and mosto cotto (cooked must).
Moving on to adults… Here I’ve noticed different varieties of answers: in fact only 3 people out of ten referred to the magical atmosphere, while the others had other things to say. 50% of people gave answers regarding their children, such as ‘putting up the Christmas tree with my little girl’, ‘spending time with my two daughters’ or even ‘seeing my son coming home after not seeing him for a month’. But the most unique answer I got was ‘the days off’. Poor man, he must be so stressed!
And last but not least, elders: 100% of those interviewed gave family-related answers (of which 60% were also food-related...): ‘having dinner with my sons’, ‘preparing crustole for my grandchildren’ and so on. But now brace yourselves, because I also received the most touching answer from an 82-year-old woman I met at the bus station in Foggia: she said that she lives all by herself and that she’s happy only when her daughter invites her for Christmas lunch. So sad!
So, all in all, what have I learned from this survey? Most importantly, that the more you age, the more you learn to enjoy and cherish the moments you spend with your family. But there was one girl who managed to prove that she’s already learned to do that; and I’d like to finish with her answer:
“Every Christmas my uncle dresses up as Santa Claus and gives gifts to my little cousins. I love the look on their faces. And I love that I become a child all over again. And that’s the true magic of Christmas.”