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Sunday, 29 November 2009

Levavi

Raining, cold, and gloomy. But upstairs in the children's bedroom, it's 25°. That's no mean feat from only 6kg of firewood, which was burned 14 hours ago...I love Mathilda-technology!

Today is Levavi, the first Sunday of Advent. It's the first day of the four-week season of 'expectant waiting' before Christmas, when we celebrate the birth of the baby Jesus. Having 'expected' twice, I know what those last four weeks feel like, and the run-up to the modern Christmas celebration, even in Italy, is nothing like it.

Instead of becoming ever slower, ever more intent, ever more attuned to the signs that might presage a joyful arrival, I'm dashed off my feet with unexpected editorial and writing work, preparations for Cannobio's Christmas market next week, and trying to get the little buggers (oops) to sing 'We wish you a merry Christmas' without braining each other with the jingle bells. Oh yes, then there's Christmas shopping on a strict 100€ budget, trying to elicit from M what his 95-year-old grandmother might like and presiding over the childrens' Christmas card-making debacle.

In the middle of everything, last week I had pause for thought - a short moment amid all the non-waiting-like activity. Introducing some Christmas vocabulary to a bunch of 3-6-year-olds, I asked, 'Who/what are we waiting for in the next few weeks?' The immediate reply, which brought sunshine smiles into the classroom, was "Babbo Natale!". Think unison chorus at tops of tiny voices similar to the chorus of kids in Barney. When the excitement provoked by that magical name died down and I was catching a deep breath with which to push on, a little voice piped up. Deborah, aged just 3, with enormous brown eyes and russet cheeks, said, "I'm waiting for Bambino Gésu."

And this is why my children will not be receiving a Ben 10 advent calendar, nor one adorned with the pneumatic teenage breasts and breathtakingly long legs of the Winx, even though they've begged me for weeks now every time they've entered the supermarket and seen them on sale.

Amidst the brouhaha, Mama will be motoring to Ascona, just across the Swiss border in the search for something less Babbo Natale and more Bambino Gèsu.

Thanks to Deborah, aged 3, for the heads up!





8 comments:

Sarah said...

I do get a somewhat creeped out feeling when kids are told their pressies come from Bambino Gesu though. Or maybe it is just my MIL that makes him and Father Xmas interchangeable in terms of role.

"look what baby Jesus got you for xmas amore !! A toy machine gun !!!!"

Gak

I'm missing the excited shrieks for Father Xmas, mine chose this year to become a non-believer. Am crushed. He'll be a stroppy teenager before I know it.

Louise said...

I also find that a bit odd, I have to say! And I don't want to think of the day they stop believing - they already tell me they don't believe that I have a special button on my phone which connects me directly to the Father Christmas naughty boy registration hotline...

Karin said...

They said to him, "Do you hear what these children are saying?" Jesus replied, "Yes, I do. Have you never read, 'From the mouths of little children and infants, you have created praise'?"

Salmi 8:2 (La Nuova Diodati)

2Dalla bocca dei bambini e dei lattanti tu hai stabilito la lode a motivo dei tuoi nemici, per far tacere il nemico e il vendicatore.

Too cool! That little one blessed my heart!!
Enjoy a wonderful Advent Season!

Désirée said...

In my home country of Sweden religion is a sensitive matter and we parents are asked by the preschool teachers if it is okay to take the kids to a church. I like that they ask.

But other things surprise me that they don't ask. Like about "tomten" our version of Santa/Babbo Natale. It proven to be a fictional character, yet the preschool teachers don't ask if it is okay to talk about him as real.

Vanessa said...

No Ben 10? No Winx? Social services will be at your door for that too. Oh terrible abuser of little children! :-)

Michelle said...

I am thankful for Deborah's reminder, what this time really is about. Over all this stress and presents and eating too many people forget.

LindyLouMac said...

Sadly Christmas has become a very much over commercialised event. When my girls were little and not so little actually I always got them an advent calender each but it was always a religious one and definitely did not contain chocolates!

LadyFi said...

We too have Advent in Sweden.. and it is only on the first Sunday of Advent that we put up the decorations. We also have Lucia on Dec 13 where the choirs go round singing heavenly songs about the cold and baby Jesus...

My daughter is 8 and still half believes - no matter that most kids in her class have told her that the parents deliver presents.

We always laugh at Winx and Barbies because they have spaghetti legs that no real girl should ever strive for as it isn't healthy...

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Levavi

Raining, cold, and gloomy. But upstairs in the children's bedroom, it's 25°. That's no mean feat from only 6kg of firewood, which was burned 14 hours ago...I love Mathilda-technology!

Today is Levavi, the first Sunday of Advent. It's the first day of the four-week season of 'expectant waiting' before Christmas, when we celebrate the birth of the baby Jesus. Having 'expected' twice, I know what those last four weeks feel like, and the run-up to the modern Christmas celebration, even in Italy, is nothing like it.

Instead of becoming ever slower, ever more intent, ever more attuned to the signs that might presage a joyful arrival, I'm dashed off my feet with unexpected editorial and writing work, preparations for Cannobio's Christmas market next week, and trying to get the little buggers (oops) to sing 'We wish you a merry Christmas' without braining each other with the jingle bells. Oh yes, then there's Christmas shopping on a strict 100€ budget, trying to elicit from M what his 95-year-old grandmother might like and presiding over the childrens' Christmas card-making debacle.

In the middle of everything, last week I had pause for thought - a short moment amid all the non-waiting-like activity. Introducing some Christmas vocabulary to a bunch of 3-6-year-olds, I asked, 'Who/what are we waiting for in the next few weeks?' The immediate reply, which brought sunshine smiles into the classroom, was "Babbo Natale!". Think unison chorus at tops of tiny voices similar to the chorus of kids in Barney. When the excitement provoked by that magical name died down and I was catching a deep breath with which to push on, a little voice piped up. Deborah, aged just 3, with enormous brown eyes and russet cheeks, said, "I'm waiting for Bambino Gésu."

And this is why my children will not be receiving a Ben 10 advent calendar, nor one adorned with the pneumatic teenage breasts and breathtakingly long legs of the Winx, even though they've begged me for weeks now every time they've entered the supermarket and seen them on sale.

Amidst the brouhaha, Mama will be motoring to Ascona, just across the Swiss border in the search for something less Babbo Natale and more Bambino Gèsu.

Thanks to Deborah, aged 3, for the heads up!





8 comments:

Sarah said...

I do get a somewhat creeped out feeling when kids are told their pressies come from Bambino Gesu though. Or maybe it is just my MIL that makes him and Father Xmas interchangeable in terms of role.

"look what baby Jesus got you for xmas amore !! A toy machine gun !!!!"

Gak

I'm missing the excited shrieks for Father Xmas, mine chose this year to become a non-believer. Am crushed. He'll be a stroppy teenager before I know it.

Louise said...

I also find that a bit odd, I have to say! And I don't want to think of the day they stop believing - they already tell me they don't believe that I have a special button on my phone which connects me directly to the Father Christmas naughty boy registration hotline...

Karin said...

They said to him, "Do you hear what these children are saying?" Jesus replied, "Yes, I do. Have you never read, 'From the mouths of little children and infants, you have created praise'?"

Salmi 8:2 (La Nuova Diodati)

2Dalla bocca dei bambini e dei lattanti tu hai stabilito la lode a motivo dei tuoi nemici, per far tacere il nemico e il vendicatore.

Too cool! That little one blessed my heart!!
Enjoy a wonderful Advent Season!

Désirée said...

In my home country of Sweden religion is a sensitive matter and we parents are asked by the preschool teachers if it is okay to take the kids to a church. I like that they ask.

But other things surprise me that they don't ask. Like about "tomten" our version of Santa/Babbo Natale. It proven to be a fictional character, yet the preschool teachers don't ask if it is okay to talk about him as real.

Vanessa said...

No Ben 10? No Winx? Social services will be at your door for that too. Oh terrible abuser of little children! :-)

Michelle said...

I am thankful for Deborah's reminder, what this time really is about. Over all this stress and presents and eating too many people forget.

LindyLouMac said...

Sadly Christmas has become a very much over commercialised event. When my girls were little and not so little actually I always got them an advent calender each but it was always a religious one and definitely did not contain chocolates!

LadyFi said...

We too have Advent in Sweden.. and it is only on the first Sunday of Advent that we put up the decorations. We also have Lucia on Dec 13 where the choirs go round singing heavenly songs about the cold and baby Jesus...

My daughter is 8 and still half believes - no matter that most kids in her class have told her that the parents deliver presents.

We always laugh at Winx and Barbies because they have spaghetti legs that no real girl should ever strive for as it isn't healthy...