The month of December brings in my thoughts some background noise … the thought of presents!
Ever since I was a child I have not believed in Santa Claus, it seemed exaggerated to me that one could do all this work, that is to prepare and deliver gifts at the same time to all the families, especially for a man who might be hundreds of years old! I soon realized that the real people responsible for the gifts I received was my family, and I have to admit that I have always been fortunate.

Perhaps my pleasure in giving presents also comes from them. I love thinking about what could please the person, what they might need, what can surprise or make them smile. I feel that with this gesture I want to express something more, I put a bit of myself and my heart into it. So, in December, I spend a lot of time thinking about the people I love and care about.

It feels really nice to give a gift to someone you love! I find it significant that in many different cultures there is the tradition of giving presents at a specific time of the year, and that many of these coincide with the end of the calendar year!
When I moved to Damanhur, I thought my life would be easier, because here we do not celebrate Christmas in a traditional way. I thought: “well, at least they understood that this poor old man can not do so much work!” Then I had a little shock: in Damanhur we do celebrate! We celebrate the Nativity, which are the special days of the birth of more Gods! As in other cultures, it is also common here to give each other gifts to make this moment even more special.

But then I wondered, how can we find the right things for everyone? The answer I gave myself was: “Ok, I have to start thinking about gifts as early as the Summer Solstice!” But this solution did not last long … I began to doubt my theory when I learned the exact number of Damanhurians: almost 600!!!

Fortunately, ours is an intelligent people! We have applied an effective system that I have also seen put in place in other contexts: all the names of the people of the communities are written down and then each person draws a name out of a hat of one person to get a gift for!
The nice thing about living in a community, or rather of our communities where groups can easily reach up to 20 participants, is the joyous moment of the gift exchange! Every time it seems that each gift is also for me!

The thought of those who give, the amazement of those who receive, laughter, joy, jokes … even if I receive only one gift, in fact it is as if I have received it at least 20 times!

Taking part in all this is the biggest gift of December. Also this year we will celebrate like this and I have already drawn the name of the person to whom I will give or make a gift … psst … so far only I know, well maybe Santa Claus too ;-))