I’m not sure if it’s only me, or is this Christmas a little more different and joyful than those before? It’s like all of Zlarin woke up from a long winter dream and is now enveloped in a veil of happiness and friendship. During the last four Sundays of the Advent my heart jumped with joy plenty of times as I witnessed all those little things that, like a chain reaction, bring child-like smiles to people’s faces, pure and honest. To be a witness to all that and recognize the moment on time is a wonderful feeling.
It all started with the Christmas workshops.
The first was a real surprise. A couple of us decided to make Christmas wreaths and spread the news about it. We were expecting no more than 10 or so women to join us, and we bought just enough material for them. We didn’t know exactly what to make at first – we just started creating. Over 20 women came, each brought something she liked and soon it all became a real Christmas workshop working full steam. After there were no more wreaths to make, we made Christmas tree decorations out of cardboard and switch. Somebody suggested that each of us gives a wreath to an older person in their neighborhood who might be ill or lonely, or could simply use some cheering up. The idea was great, and it was exactly the thought behind the workshops we had in the beginning.
Everybody was excited about the second workshop. We already had decoupage workshops so we knew what we were doing. Also, we had experts in our circles who gladly helped us, explained the methods and brought their paint, brushes and clothespins. We even received a small package from Zagreb full of paper towels with Christmas décor, brushes and the like. The balls and stars made of Styrofoam, as well as the wreaths and all the necessary supplies were financed by Tourist Board Zlarin. Time just flew by and this time we knew what to do with our work – we asked DVD (Volunteer Fire Association) Zlarin to find a bigger tree this year which we would adorn with our hand-made decorations. And so it happened.
The third workshop was a blast too. The weather was on our side, we bought candles, turned the music on, gave away fritters and sherry and the children wrote their names on paper hearts and boots. Whoever could come, did, and helped with the decorations. The workshop didn’t last long, but we had a great time!
Last night, the last Sunday of the Advent, Santa Claus came to visit. With two bags full of presents and a small bell in his hand he cheered the children up. Of course, there were some who cried and ran away from Santa, but as time went by, everybody had a picture and dance with the “old man”.
We have one more occasion to look forward to before Christmas itself – today’s banquet. We’ll be making only the best codfish, frying fritters and chestnuts. Surely, there’ll be song and dance all over. Everyone is free to join us! We start in the local firehouse at 5pm.
After all of that, a few days of well-earned vacation are due before we prepare a new surprise for the kids on December 30th. For the first time in the history of Zlarin professor Balthazar is coming to the town – a theatre play about the well-known cartoon character who gets asked to solve unusual problems quite often. And he does – he solves them in a very imaginative way which makes him especially fun. The play will take place in Hotel Koralj at 7:30pm, led by our dear Petra Radin and actors Mario Kovač and Filip Djetelić.
Such a small place, yet with so many happenings we can all be proud of… we hope moments like these will always come! If nothing else, we’ve managed to wake our inner child and make these holidays better for everybody. It’s really nice to see so much joy and love on our otherwise empty streets, and Christmas is just around the corner – in two days. Some wise advice – do good to others and extend a hand of peace and love to everybody.