The preparations for the festivities are ongoing in the community. From the Christmas Eve dinner to the gifts for the residents. The story of a special evening
The lights and the decorations made, are inspired on Christmas traditions, or born from the imagination of the ‘creativity’ of Sanpa, embellishing every corner of the community. Above all, the large dining hall, where all the residents gather to live together the most beautiful moments. Everything is colored and lit. The trees, the plants, the flowers that surround the dining hall are on theme for the partying, embellished with many small intermittent lights that illuminate the green area. All the residents are busy, without forgetting any detail. The Christmas tables centerpiece have red candles, mistletoe and decorations placed, the 400 white tablecloths are prepared for the table equipment, the big tree is adorned with the decorations of past years being restored. “I look forward to this party like if I were a child”, says Chiara, in San Patrignano for three years. “I cannot wait for it to arrive. Before coming here all Christmases were the same, I do not remember one. If I had drugs it was all right, otherwise I would have had to look for it, like any other day. ”
A day like so many for Lucia, up to four years ago. “Now it’s different, I live it intensely. I feel the atmosphere of the party, of a special day ». And for her, Christmas really is so. “It changed my life. I came on Christmas Eve, along with other residents. ” As tradition dictates, in fact, on the night of the Nativity the doors of Sanpa open to all of those who want to say enough to drugs. «I arrived here with only one thought – Lucia recalls – I’ll stay enough time to get back on my legs a bit and then I’ll leave». Instead, I remained one, two, three, four years. “I do not know what end I would have done, I’m happy to be still here. Everything now seems different: I myself have changed ».
She’s another person that when she had entered she had: black hair, very short, surrounding a pale and sullen face that did not really want to mention a smile. Now Lucia’s dark eyes light up as she talks about herself, adjusting her long hair on her shoulders.
“Every year I watch the guys who come in at Christmas and I really hope they find the strength and the courage not to give up. I know that at that moment few people realize what is going on around them. It happened to me too. They are upset, confused, in the midst of so many people, in the lights, in the applauses. The only desire we have is to be able to sleep as soon as possible “. Then everything changes. Time passes, Christmas returns and is revealed in all its magic, especially “for us – concludes Lucia – we arrived in San Patrignano that night, to start living again”.