I had retraced the snowy paths one last time.

I could see you bustling about at your windows: between the tables candles, curious children’s eyes, cats curled up, noisy or silent friends, laughter, whispers. All putting in those closing stitches, which I had left undone.

Summing up is always difficult….

But my footsteps in the snow were lighter than the previous year’s and I just needed to stall for a while: I scanned the branches, stroked the coloured lights and tapped on the glass to nod hello. I chased gusts of snow and memories, sank my feet into the soft mantle, without sinking: the present was full of attractions.

At the edge of the lake my reflection had smiled at me and a spark of thought had been ignited.

So I had returned to my room.

I had ironed the embroidery well, from the reverse side, with the steam iron, placing a soft pad between the embroidery and the ironing board. I had cut out the shapes in 1mm cardboard: two shapes to be glued together to make a 2mm front and a single shape for the reverse side. I had drawn the design of the shapes on the reverse side of the fabric, cut the fabric with a border of about 2 cm and prepared a flat wadding shape.

I had glued the edges of the embroidered fabric to the back of the 2 mm cardboard form and repeated the operation with a Christmas cloth for the reverse. Before gluing the two shapes together, I had introduced a cord, which I had obtained by rolling DMC 347 and an ecru. I let it dry by pressing the two shapes together with clothes pegs.

I had finally sewn a red ribbon onto the string and, overcome with enthusiasm, rushed into the house to prepare my tree.

But in the living room a great deal of activity had already taken place: the boys and the light man were busy around the tree, while cheerful and even slightly irreverent Christmas songs filled the air.

The smell of biscuits.

The warmth of a hug.

I walked over and hung my little ornaments.

If I plunge my eyes in, I see it all again.