The Magic and Curse of Christmas by Angela Guidolin – Day 21 Advent 2017

The Magic and Curse of Christmas by Angela Guidolin

Day 21 Advent 2017

When I was a child in the ’70, my parents had just started their own ice-cream business. To me, it meant not seeing much of them, having a few toys to play with (that sometimes my mum was forced to give as a present to other children if we were invited to social events like their First Communion for example), and clothes handed down from older cousins.

Christmas Day was a rare occasion to celebrate, and the anticipation for the family reunion and the chance to play with my cousins filled me with joy. Not to mention the expectations for the gifts I would find under the Christmas tree at my granny’s! However, delusion would quickly set in as my presents came always with the caveat, “For today and for your birthday but it’s so big!”

Yes, I am one of the lucky people who was born on 31st December. To add insult to injury, usually there would be just a birthday cake for me, but no party, because my guests’ parents would be too busy getting ready for the New Year’s Eve celebrations. Growing up, I’d celebrate my birthday with my friends in mid-December or on the 31st, but eventually I stopped altogether because I’m always 28, you see.

I’m sorry I’ve digressed. Let’s go back to Christmas. During the festivities we used to enjoy visiting the various Nativities displayed in nearby churches, farms and schools. Some would be small and made with simple materials, others elaborate and covering a huge surface.

Another family tradition used to take place at the Sunday market, where we loved to drink the hot chocolate (or the mulled wine when I was much older), sold for a small price by a local charity, near a gigantic Christmas tree, listening to the Christmas carols spread all over the town centre via loudspeakers.

The magic of Christmas disappeared for me when at 18 I walked out of the Catholic Church and became an atheist. That was a revolutionary act in a small Italian village 30 years ago.

Many years later, I was living in France and pregnant with my only daughter. She was due on the 26th December. Yes, 26th December! No, I couldn’t let that happen her to her too. The curse of half presents for Christmas and half for birthday had to be lifted. So in my meditations and talks to her I often urged her to be born either in the beginning of December or in January. I must have been persuasive because she was born on the 4th December, the first day she could be born safely.

And with my daughter the magic of Christmas has come back into my life. I’m not merely talking about the photos taken with Santa Claus, and the plates filled with carrots for Rudolf and cookies for Santa, left by the window in the sitting room when she was little. I’m talking about the hope for a better future, the hope that whatever is in store for humanity, we will unite and rise to the challenge. For our children’s sake.

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Angela Guidolin is a science fiction author and lives in Folkestone (UK) with her child. She has recently released the science fiction romance novella Across Spacetime. She blogs at www.angelaguidolinauthor.co.uk

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Innocent Harvest

She stuffed another hand of raspberries into her tiny mouth. Mmm, what a taste!

“Louise?” mother’s voice called from a nearby bush.

The girl looked up smiling, her porcelain face covered by pink sticky bliss.

“Let me see your basket!”

On her way to her mother, she plucked another fruit from the bush and added it to the others, in her mouth.  Continue reading “Innocent Harvest”

A new adventure

It is September, which means it’s la rentrée, or back to school, work, etc, it’s like the new year just even more so, it’s a moment for new beginnings.

It’s the end of a long day… The kids are sleeping and as S is in London, meaning that I have the evening all to myself. I shall try not to go to bed too late, as tomorrow we have to get up earlier than today.

The girl (I cannot call her little one anymore can I? She’s a big sister now, and over a meter tall!) had her first day of Ecole Maternelle today. When I dropped her off at 9:30 this morning (tomorrow that will be 8:30), she was a bit perplex that I hung around, she more or less wanted me to leave. A little more than two months ago, we visited her school, and since then she’s been impatient to go.

So for her, a new adventure started today. I met my best friend in Kindergarten, so I hope that she’ll form some long lasting bonds with friends of her own. It’s also the start of being within the education system, the first day of many.

For myself, this means that I will be spending more one on one time with the boy, something we haven’t really done much since his birth (ok the girl spends a good part of her day with her head in books, and she cannot read yet). I will be able to focus a bit more on work and my blog, now that he’s almost 6 months old it will be easier, especially if the girl is taken care of during part of the day.

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Three years ago, I was having breakfast with S. I had spend an interesting night, contractions had ripped me from my sleep, but a shower later I was peacefully snoring again, the contractions continued. When I arrived in the Maternity Ward at 11:30am I was already at 4 or 5 cm. Things went quickly, S arrived at the hospital 2 hours after I did, and at 15:34 our daughter joined us.

Happy 3rd Birthday

Today, she is 3 years old! It has been quite an adventure.

Currently little one is still fast asleep, it’s one of those rare nights she spend from the beginning to well now in her bed. Up until the end of last year she was still sleeping in the parental bed, but my growing belly and her size made her take the decision that it was time to try the little bed. It was our plan to convince her to sleep there, but finally she decided on her own. Just like so many other things.

In June, she figured it was time to no longer wear her diapers and start using the potty, I am only responsible to the extent that I bought her a potty. Two years ago, on her first birthday she learnt to walk, when she was 7 and a half months old it was crawling. The hardest part to get her to get used to was no longer nursing on my breast. Looking back, that was the only developmental step that happened by me forcing it upon her, there was no choice, really.

I enjoy reading with her, many of the stories we read are so important to her that she can recite the ending of the sentences, and sometimes she knows the whole book. Will she be a young reader? I don’t know, but I do know that she is a lover of books.

Sometimes she is shy, but that’s when she is tired. But once she starts to like someone, well then she has a loose tongue and will fill your ears with questions and stories in German or French.

How cute she has been after the last ultrasound in January, she asked the doctor for a picture of her future sibling, so that it could be hung on the wall and kissed before leaving the house. It will be such a change for her, for us, once our family will be growing in March.

Now, I have learnt so much thanks to this little girl.

I really don’t know what to say, besides:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!


© Solveig Werner 2017. All rights reserved.
Image Copyright Moritz Werner (my dad) February 2014

Seasonal Magic

Last week I had the chance to be a guest on Melanie Noell Bernard’s blog! As she too had a Christmas series going on.

So maybe today, on the 4th day of Christmas you might want to have a look at the magic of the Christmas season 🙂

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The entire season of Christmas is filled with magic for Solveig and her family. Read more about what adds to that magic and leave your thoughts in the comments!

Source: Seasonal Magic

I came out of my shell a while ago, but …

Orchid

People tend to see me as an extrovert. Actually as someone who is overly extroverted.

But actually I tend to be very much of an introvert.

Apparently when I started kindergarten I spend a few days observing everything before jumping into the action myself. There were some days on which everyone was playing outside and I was busy with a friend of mine weaving carpets for my dolls or working on a drawing.

That introvert in my has always been there, more or less present. But over the years and through various circumstances the extrovert society wanted me to be took over. I guess it’s a strategy of survival. Recently I came across this article Hey, parents – leave those introverts alone! by Tim Lott published in The Guardian. It made me think. Think some more. Brought back some memories and underlined the obvious. I must be quite an introvert, even though I can be severely extroverted. Continue reading “I came out of my shell a while ago, but …”

S is for Secret #AtoZChallenge

S is for Secret

Many many years ago, our next door neighbour came to see my mother to share a secret with her. I found my conversation with my mum interrupted so that our neighbour could share what weighed her heart. She said that it would be better if I left the room, because she was going to share a secret with my mom. I did not want to leave, this was not a good friend of my mother’s, my mother was good friends with her girlfriend. For some reason my mom did not think that it was necessary for me to leave either, she did not join in on our neighbour’s request. Of course I would have left the adults alone if I had been asked by my mother, but I surely would have eavesdropped from the top of the stairs…  Continue reading “S is for Secret #AtoZChallenge”

Happy Easter!

Once a year I have the pleasure of celebrating Easter, a holiday, which I greatly appreciate, and looking back have always appreciated a lot. I don’t think that I ever did go to an Easter service, but I sure did learn about the religious significance of the holiday. I guess the pagan traditions are the ones that are closest to my heart for this celebration.

I have a very fond memory of Easter, many Easter have left their trace in my memory, while many others have passed almost unnoticed.

One of these memories came back in full force with the passing away of my mother. It must be my first memory of Easter. Here is the image that I had in my head over the last few days: Continue reading “Happy Easter!”