Saturday & Sunday in December, 2016.
Oh the weather outside is frightful,
But the fiiire is sooo delightful...
...I sang.. in the absence of above mentioned fire, as I was squeezing my bike in the elevator on that chilly Saturday morning. This was our weekend to promote the Youth Center on the main square of the city. As I parked my bike near the colourful line of so-called „Christmas houses“ on the square, I glanced around hoping to see a crowd but instead everything was still peaceful. Volunteers who were setting up the place welcomed me with smiling faces that could warm up the coldest winder day and soon I had a pair of antlers on my head (which I enjoyed very much, to be honest).
A variety of colourful fabric was spread out on the table and soon there were more or less recognizable shapes of animals cut out, stuffed with even more fabric and came to life as they got their little round eyes. The other side of the table was filled with paper. Children cut out shapes of their hands on which they wrote their wishes and attached them on the side of our house to form a christmas tree. (At some point during the next day the „branches“ just got wild and the tree lost its shape as it had to accommodate soo many wonderful wishes!) A small table on the side was reserved for face-painting. I'm still having a hard time believing that nothing had spilled during those two days., at least not that I have seen.
Saturday passed peacefully, we were able to talk with people in a more relaxed manner and I don't think anyone felt especially tired at the end of the event. Sunday was a completely different story. The sun was out, as were all the people in Kalamata, it seemed. We started a bit later but the christmas spirit was more evident than ever. Hot cups of coffee were handed around as Santa's little helpers (as someone called us) set up the place. It felt like people were instantly attracted by our colourful carol-singing antler-adorned bunch. Our hands were full as children crowded around the tables. At first it was fun and sweet but soon I was drawing a snowflake on one child's face, another was trying to tell me what he wants in greek, two on the side arguing who gets to go first, a bunch behind me pushing me from the back... Still, it was impossible to get annoyed with those smiling little faces around.
As my shift reached its end long ago, I hurried home, barely able to cycle through the crowd (on the bike path, yes, because, Greece), the sun still high. And thus, our busy christmassy weekend was reaching its end.