Homemade Christmas window cookies make children's eyes light up.

Christmas: Time for baking holiday delights

Powered sugar and vanilla

Logistics expert Julia Stanco works at LANXESS in Cologne. She particularly loves the Christmas season. The corona crisis has unleashed additional energy in the hobby baker.

“I love baking and decorating anyway. Christmas is perfect for that. I love this time of year especially.”
Julia Stanco
Management Assistant for Forwarding and Logistics Services at LANXESS in Cologne

Christmas is perfect for creative people

Relatives, neighbors, and even neighbors of relatives can be happy when Julia Stanco pulls her baking sheets out of the oven. And now, at Christmas time, this happens even more often than usual. The talented amateur baker decorates cookies, cupcakes, and cakes with filigree lines, bright colors, pearls, glitter, powdered sugar, pastel icing, or Velvet Spray, with stars, rolling eyes, sweet crystals, or mini-candy canes. To make the temptation complete, she presents the works of art on lace, glossy paper, or gold-rimmed tableware, positioned between balls, candles, and pine greenery. Since she bakes more than her family can eat, she gives away many of these delicious gems as presents.

During the day her three-year-old and four-year-old sons help her. In the evenings she decorates on her own and includes ideas she gets from everyday moments or from sharing with other baking fans.

With all the COVID-19-stress: There was also more time for sharing

The fact that Julia Stanco has been working more at home than in the LANXESS Tower in Cologne since spring did not pose a technical problem. Even before the COVID-19-crisis, she had home office days now and then, so she was well equipped. However, she admits that when the daycare centers closed, the multiple workload put her under stress, although she continues to stay positive: “I am the kind of person who wants to make the best of a difficult situation,” she says. So, she enjoyed the shared meals prepared the evening before. “I consider this time with my children a gift which would not have been possible otherwise and will not return.”

The art of keeping things going during COVID-19

In her job, too, the forwarding and logistics services clerk has remained as psychologically close as she can to her colleagues at LANXESS. “It felt like we were all in the same boat.” Everyone was subject to the strict protective regulations of the Group and working from home. The flow of goods functioned differently as a result of the crisis. The arrival of the container ships in the important Dutch ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam was delayed and the transport volume was reduced. The handling of transports requires more effort, among other things because of the hygiene measures, which include taking peoples’ temperatures at the factory gates.

Julia Stanco’s area of responsibility mainly covers the Group’s internal exchange of goods between Europe and overseas, where she is responsible for import processing and deliveries to LANXESS’s production sites and warehouses here. All in all, she says, this went so smoothly despite the crisis that there were no logistics-related production disruptions.

Webex, Whatsapp, and telephone have proven to be capable of keeping the contact network alive, says Julia Stanco.

A COVID-19-Christmas: A boost for social media

The 32-year-old mother exchanges photos and videos with friends and relatives via social media, sharing funny moments, for example on St. Nicholas Day on December 6. Her Instagram account la_torta_di_julia has attracted many new followers, especially during the coronavirus period. Julia Stanco wants to demonstrate her dedication to quality: To present her baked goods in the best possible light, she is setting up a mini-shooting studio in her attic. It features background walls in her favorite colors – pink and turquoise – plenty of daylight and a high-quality camera. This is how she creates eye-catchers and earns a lot of praise from her growing community.

Instagram Screenshot Profil Julia Stanco

Christmas 2020: Improvisation

Christmas with the family is a smaller affair for the Stancos this year. The children will be able to see all their grandparents, but with the greatest possible caution and previously reduced contact.

But the other relatives of her husband Antonio will have to get by without a family visit from Germany, as they live south of Naples. “We travel there every year,” says Julia Stanco. “In 2020, unfortunately, this did not happen.”

For Julia Stanco and her family, traditions have great magic.

Nevertheless, the Christ Child will come, she says with assurance. He will, as always, put the presents under the Christmas tree while the family goes for a walk after dinner. The holidays will certainly be “a beautiful, reflective time,” says Julia Stanco.

Julia Stanco, Management Assistant for Forwarding and Logistics Services at LANXESS in Cologne

After Christmas: Longing for conviviality and normality

Julia Stanco loves inviting people. For 2021, she hopes that COVID-19 will be defeated. “The numbers should drop, vaccinations should begin,” she says. When social contacts are possible again, she will breathe a sigh of relief. “No video tool can replace a genuine exchange with colleagues or relatives.” And certainly not family celebrations.

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