The MAG - 07.23

By Cristina Morozzi

Talking about Christmas in October may seem premature. It isn't, if we consider a secular interpretation of Christmas.

Christmas is an important religious celebration, but over time, it has also become a civil holiday celebrated by atheists and believers of all religions worldwide.

Francesca Rigotti, born and raised in Milan, where she earned her degree in philosophy at the University of Milan, and currently teaching at the Universities of Lugano and Zurich, writes in her book "The Small Things of Christmas" (Interlinea, Novara, 2008) that "Christmas is not a material, physical, or psychic thing... but something that arises from a social act... it is an institution that the whole world knows and recognizes, and a large part celebrates, either wholly or in part, with its rituals, myths, and things."

Francesca warns us that "thing" does not mean an object, even though today we often use the two terms synonymously; nor does "object" mean a thing because it belongs to a broader category. An object is a window through which we observe the world to understand what it has to say about the society, history, and culture in which it is embedded. Social things, like Christmas, exist thanks to human conventions and recognitions.

Francesca emphasizes that Christmas things are both natural and immaterial. "The things of Christmas", Francesca concludes, "are those items you see in the shop windows that are there to be purchased: music to listen to, films to watch, food products to eat, decorations and garlands to hang, lights and decorations of all kinds" (ibidem). In her essay on Christmas Things, Francesca suggests the classics, such as the Nativity scene, the tree, candles, sweets...

Design Italy, the website that offers design items for homes, offices, and public spaces, timely provides you with a selection of "Christmas Things", the result of careful research in the districts of Italian craftsmanship. It becomes a showcase that you can admire without facing the crowds and traffic and serves as the destination for your most special purchases.