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In my family, the opening night of the Zecchino D’Oro was the time to write my letter to Santa: the Zecchino D’Oro is an iconic televised song contest open to children of all ages. Sitting in front the telly, between songs, each year I would start my letter: Dear Santa…
But my letter wasn’t at all improvised. Before getting into it, I wanted to have a pretty good idea of what was around. I would ask my parents to take me to all the toy shops close to home and I would collect all the catalogues I could find: leafing through the pages and – with almost the same commitment and dedication of a bookkeeper – I would choose my spoils. With a felt-tip pen and a lot of patience, I would examine, choose and then carefully circle each gift I was going to ask for.
Then, it was time to get out paper, pens, stickers and glitter: once I had finished writing my letter, I would give it proudly to my mother. She always promised me to take it to the right post box the next morning. I would then begin to wait for Christmas to arrive.
Although I’m still rather young, comparing my niece’s letter to Santa to mine I realise that a lot has changed since my childhood. Giulia doesn’t want to tour the shops and get the catalogues, but she uses her father’s tablet to find all the presents she would like to receive, sitting comfortably on the sofa. I’ve seen her with my very own eyes creating a Xmas Wishlist. Seriously.
Once the list is done, Giulia asks her mother to download a letter to Santa that she can print and then colour herself. Actually she doesn't really use it: let’s say that she only uses it for inspiration. In the end, she will also write her letter by hand using pencils, glitter and felt-tips. Listening to Spotify instead of the Zecchino d’Oro.
Then, just as I used to do, she makes her mother promise that she will send it. More or less: she asks her to scan it and email it to Santa. Nowadays, even Santa and his elves prefer email. And who knows how many orders they will place on Amazon Prime.