2December is a magical time for us. We are very busy at school because there is a long list of things to do in time for ChristmasWe decorate our classrooms with angels, bells, baubles and paper trees
3We write letters to our parents to tell them how much we love them The letter is normally placed under our father’s plate and read after Christmas dinner is finished.Some children hang it up on their Christmas tree.
4We also write letters to Father Christmas asking for presents Caro Babbo Nataleper Natalevorrei :_________________________________________________The letter is normally hung up on the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve
5We create Christmas cards for our family and relatives
6A lot of traditional songs are sung in churches and schools. “Bianco Natale” ( White Christmas) , “ Astro del ciel” (Silent night)are only two of the carols which are sung at Christmas
7Christmas treeOn 8th December we traditionally decorate a pine tree in our home. Some families buy a real or fake Christmas tree to decorate.
8Christmas treeIn the past, many families decorated their Christmas tree with chocolates, oranges, sweets and biscuits
9Nowadays we also decorate our houses with tinsel, baubles and wreaths Nowadays we also decorate our houses with tinsel, baubles and wreaths. These are usually hung up on the front door of homes.
10The cribAt school and home we also make il presepio the crib. First we create the landscape using paper, wood and muschio, (moss), which grow under the trees in the woods.
11The cribNext we put small statues which feature shepherds, sheep, farmers…Finally we springle some flower on the moss to simulate snow.
12In the past people used to go for a walk in the woods and gather moss, but nowadays we have lost this tradition and most people buy it at the supermarket. What a shame!
13Performing the Nativity scene In some small towns like Loreto, there is the tradition of performing the Nativity scene. People in costume play the part of shepherds, farmers and the three Wise Men. They go around small streets, stables and squares.This performance is also called “the living Crib”
14Father ChristmasChildren believe that Father Christmas brings them presents.Most parents tell children that he comes on Christmas Eve and that he puts the presents under the Christmas tree.On Christmas Eve, before going to bed, some children leave biscuits, chocolates and drinks for Father Christmas under the Christmas tree. They know that he loves cakes and sweets!
15Christmas EveIn our tradition Christmas Eve is a day of abstinence from meat so we eat fish..“Il capitone” is a well known dish made with fried eels.
16Christmas Eve After dinner people go to the church for midnight mass At midnight you here the bells of churches ringing in the distance and you feel your heart fill with happiness and love
17CHRISTMAS DAY This is the day families get together. Many people attend a church service, open their presents and have Christmas dinner.
18CHRISTMAS DINNERA traditional Christmas dinner usually includes classic tortellini in chicken stock, lasagna, roast chicken with roast potatoes, vegetables and salad.Children drink water whereas adults drink water and white or red wine.
19CHRISTMAS DINNER Desserts usually include panettone and pandoro. Panettone is a cake made with candied fruit and raisinsPandoro is made with more butter than panettone but without the candied fruit and raisins
20CHRISTMAS DINNERAs dessert we also have the traditional nougat ( torrone) made with honey, hazelnuts or almondsWe end our Christmas dinner with dried fruit such as dates, hazelnuts, nuts and raisins.
21CHRISTMAS DINNERWe also eat fresh fruit such as oranges, tangerines and grapes.We traditionally eat grapes for good luck
22Befana's DayLa Befana is a kindly old lady who brings children gifts on the feast of the Epiphany on 6th January
23in their stockings children usually find sweets or carbone dolce – sweet coal (a rock sweet that looks like coal) for the bad ones.Children hang socks on the Christmas tree on January 5th because they believe that during the night la Befana comes and fills their stockings with sweets
24Befana's Day Her shoes are big, old and broken. La Befana has a big nose with a mole on it. She wears an old coat mended with colourful patchesHer shoes are big, old and broken.She flies around on a broom and carries with her a big black bag full of sweets and coal.She loves children but she doesn’t want to be seen by them.