Our Studentessa Matta kicks off the Holiday Season by preparing the "presepe", the Nativity. Here how she did it!
I’m preparing the house for Christmas. I have just finished decorating the tree with my kids. Over the years I have collected a bunch of ornaments! There are decorations everywhere. Even my dog Sinbad is decorated with bells! There is a Christmas angel, decorations for the table and even holiday pillows. The kitchen is decorated as well…and there are Santa plates. I love decorating the house with little lights and add them everywhere. In every corner of the house there are holidays touches. On the mantel there is a collection of Santas. While I work I listen to holiday tunes and sing, even if I am a bit off key. I also like watching all the old films like Jimmy Stewart’s “It’s a wonderful life” and “Miracle on 34th Street”.
I’m about to put together my Nativity Scene. Every year I prepare a Nativity scene with Italian figurines. I build the setting for the figurines using special paper, small stones and moss collected from the garden. I use shoe boxes that I found in the back of my closet. First I arrange the boxes and then I put the paper over them…I scrunch up the paper a bit to give it a more natural look, to help give it the look of rocks, fields and grottos.
It takes a little bit of patience to assemble the boxes in just the right way and then arrange the paper. Every year I add something new to the presepe. This time I have decided to create a little lake. I am making the lake out of tin foil. Once the base is complete, I can begin to place the moss, the straw and the stones in a natural way…but trying to to do this in a realistic way, to look like fields, is a bit difficult. Patience! Now the scene is ready and I can begin to place the figures of Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, the cows, the sheep, even the angel. As you can see I have put a light behind the angel to illuminate it and the scene.
At this point the Nativity scene is almost complete. Everything is set…the figures are well organized. I am only missing the baby Jesus. But, I will not “officially” put him in the scene before Christmas Eve! I will add him now for the video but afterwards I will take him out…in reality he doesn’t enter the scene before Christmas Eve! I also won’t add the Three Kings…they too won’t enter the scene until Epiphany, the 6th of January when the Bible states the Magi Kings arrive to pay their respects to Jesus and his family in the hills outside of Bethlehem.
So I think that everything is ready! Now the Nativity scene is done and I’m ready for Christmas. I must now bake all the Christmas cookies and buy some gifts for the family. Before finishing up this video I wanted to show you one of my favorite holiday decorations…la Befana. In American Epiphany and la Befana aren’t celebrated. But I like this tradition. A friend of mine gave me this Befana doll that she bought in the Christmas market in Piazza Navona in Rome. So now I celebrate la Befana and I welcome the ugly beautiful Befana!