The first Christmas tree, the first presents – Galateni
How can one wait better for the Saint of gifts, Nicholas, if not near a tree decorated like in a fairytale, adorned with good taste and good heart, wearing its snow globes and elegant bows as royal marks, sheltering under its stretched arms, many of the sweetest gifts? When the tree is decorated in church, the joy seems to be greater, especially if on the sanctuary’s door Saint Nicholas himself watches over, he who started this unending series of gifts; he seems to be prepared already for the trips he is about to make this time of the year. The more trips you make, the more whishes you fulfil! This is what members of the Association Decent know too, so on December 2nd 2017 they visited Saint George parish from Galateni locality, Teleorman and offered the community the Christmas tree. Of its adornment took care Mrs. Lelia Marcu herself, the president of Association Decent. And because the ornaments turn out to be more beautiful in her hands and skills, some of them she realized hand-made, with emotion, patience and talent, whereas others she chose from the shops’ shelves, knowing that together with the others and a piece of her soul, they will give a personal touch to the tree with a star in the forehead.
What suits a Christmas tree is a lot of presents for the little fellows, so Mrs. Lelia Marcu thought of these tree “accessories” too, so loved by the kids. It’s true that the tree had that specific elegance that you cannot take your eyes of easily, but more beautiful than the story on the branches was – to them – the story underneath the little branches, that looked like a huge flow of gifts. The tree hid under its generous mantle about 30 presents made with the help of those who wanted to contribute to this project. These were offered to the children the next day, on December 3rd 2017, in the Sunday before Saint Nicholas. Every bag in the hands of the kids contained more than 15 types of sweets and it had a guaranteed effect: shinny faces and joy for a whole year!
The tree from kilometer zero
A similar action was carried at the Church Saint George the New from Bucharest, which opened its doors to receive the gifts from the Association Decent during this celebration’s eve and also during the feast of Saint Nicholas. The preparations were done this time too by Mrs. Lelia Marcu, who eagerly engaged in collecting the necessary things and in getting the action done step by step.
It is a special achievement to decorate the tree in a public place or in the house of a special someone, but it’s a truly honor to be able to adorn the tree near the saints reliquary. The tree donated and adorned by the Association Decent is now guarding the tomb of Saint Martyr Brâncoveanu, spreading light like another candle on the place of worship. The star tree topper looks detached from the sky full of saints painted near the tomb and the warm glitter of lights and globes make it clear that saints love Christmas and the preparations made for it. If it could, the little tricolored bow would say that the tree looks more beautiful when you are home, in Romania, because there are Romanian saints who “through sacrifice defined with blood, our people’s way, identity and history” (Lelia Marcu).
The activity of decorating needed Mrs. Lelia Marcu’s discerning eye and the good taste that meets the appreciation for the hollies. Apart from the joy that enlivens the one who makes such a gesture, one could notice the joy on the other people’s faces, maybe simple passersby or experts, who admired at length the process of dressing the tree in well-chosen dressy clothes, thus wishing to take a picture of the yet unfinished tree. Some shiny, some discreet, some painted with snowflakes, others representing a world under snow that announces a time of peace and re-birth, the little globes invited the children to look with amazement at their outfit. The red tulle elegantly embraced both the tree and the decorations made by hand especially for the holy icons, as if calling the festive atmosphere on its name. Arranging the tree got more beautiful when preparations were being made in the church for the celebration on Saint Nicholas; many flowers were adorning the icons and were put where the reliquary with Saint Nicholas hand usually stays.
In the eve of this feast, when Saint’s presents are more longed for than ever, the members of the Association Decent brought to church the gifts for sick children (blind, with Dawn syndrome) and not only. Along with the association’s friends, more than 70 presents were brought, neatly put by the tree, each of them containing 18 types of sweets. From there, they got into the children’s hands, whose joy you can’t even find the words to describe – surprise? Eagerness? Happiness?