My favourite Christmas ornament. yellow with little white and red flowers, probably hand painted. damaged and awkwardly repaired: wrinkled cardboard and old glue. a plain, boring and ugly object for today. no shine, no movement; no fragrance, no sound. an old object: just hanging in a fir-tree and capturing the light of the sun or the dining room lamps throwing them back not in thousands of sparkles, but in a faded, mellow, subdued radiance that brings to my mind so many memories. my first glimpses of life: the awe and mystery of Christmas. my first Christmas tree in a haze of memory or smoke from real candles - their grey, church-like-smell. the joy, the wonder, the security … sheer happiness… waiting for Christmas to happen. I look at the little sun shining, not burning, in my palm, in the fir tree in its storage box: all those memories come back! a life time of Christmases: rustling candies wrapped up in shiny silver and gold, the smell of oranges, a luxury. home baked sweet bread with lots of nuts, the whispers of parents and neighbours getting things ready for Father Christmas to come, laughter, apples, gifts, my first Jewish Father Christmas, the distant sound of carolers in the streets, orășelul copiilor, frozen feet and noses, boiled wine and spiced up țuica, poems in exchange of gifts, a this-small-dwarf-bathing-in-a-coffee-pot, Moș Gerilă … The pain of discovery, the denial of mythology, the happy sparkle of red wine, cigarette smoke, sausages and sarmale, cold cuts, stories, my own kids’ expectations, French perfumes, furs, American cigarettes. Stories … .