Friday, January 6, 2012

More exciting than Santa - Piu' emozionante di Babbo Natale

While last year Christmas in Tronk's eyes was equal to tearing at colored ribbons and wrapping paper, this year Christmas has revealed a few more interesting things to him. Even if he probably understood very little of the birth of baby Jesus, the shepherds and the bright star with the tail, no doubt Tronk has learned all about Santa and the good things he brings on Christmas Eve. He enjoyed meeting him in person on December 16th and he became obsessed with wearing his hat (he wanted to wear it to eat, to sleep, to shower, basically all the time. To keep our sanity, at some point I had to tell Tronk that Santa needed his hat back!). No wonder he turned sad when I told him that Santa had gone. Luckily, I had something better to tell him to cheer him up.
"La Befana", the most loved witch in Italy
Mamma: "Tronk, verra' presto la Befana, volando sulla sua scopa, con un sacco carico di doni. Se fai il bravo, ti portera' dolci e giocattoli. Se sei cattivo, ti portera' carbone" (Tronk, La Befana will soon be ‘flying’ by on her broomstick, with a sac full of gifts. If you have been a good boy, she'll bring you sweets and toys. If you've been bad, she'll bring you coal)
A puzzled look on Tronk's face followed. The movies on you tube did not help.
Tronk: "Ma e' brutta e vecchia!" (But she is ugly and old!).
Mamma: "Si, e' brutta e vecchia ma se sei buono, ti porta dolci e giocattoli. Non sei contento?" (Yes! She is ugly and old but if you are good, she will bring you sweets and gifts. Are you not happy?)
Tronk: "Si!" (Yes! meaning: I don't know what the hell you are going on about but I'll say yes so you'll stop talking about this)

Surprise, surprise... he was more excited than on Christmas day. At first, when he discovered the long stocking  with a message from La Befana hanging on his whiteboard, he was very hesitant to touch it and was disappointed to find out the pieces of coal that I put on top to make him think that he had been a bad boy, just like my mother used to do to me. He soon realized, however, that there was more to it... Cookies and even cars, his favorite things on earth. The last time I saw him so excited was probably the day he discovered how to open doors!

Thinking about it, there has not been a single La Befana day in my childhood without me being excited. This is because after receiving presents on Christmas day, I knew that the Christmas season was not over until the 6th of January, the Epifania day (from ancient Greek: the manifestation of God). On that day, my last day off before school, I was expecting extra gifts, including the carbone dolce sweet and, for some reason, I have such special memories. So it was only after the Epifania day that I would consider Christmas over and would come to terms with having to postpone my wish to receive gifts until Easter.

What is this black thing? Coal for me?
Mmm, cookies!

Oh, a present for me

Ah, ah, ah, ah ah! (noises of excitement)

"Apri mamma? Apri mamma?" (Open mamma? Open mamma?)

Hey, I like the ugly witch!

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