Celebrating Christmas With My Italian Relatives

Because we now have 4 generations of relatives we hire a hall. We do this about the 2nd Sunday of December. That way everyone knows every year when to plan to celebrate. The hall is decorated with a tree with ornaments and we have holiday music playing (a boom box). Folding tables provided by the hall are set up with chairs and disposable holiday tablecloths are put on them. (We wait until after Christmas each year and when they go on sale, we buy them and put them away for next year).


Everyone brings their special dish to share and this is displayed on a separate long large table. This year we had chicken wings, ham, turkey, meatballs, potato salad, macaroni salad, tossed salad, homemade bread, dinner rolls, pizza, and many, many delicious desserts. One of my aunts makes a traditional dish called bacala which is a fish dish made from soaked codfish and then cooked into a soup like dish. It is so good and it is the only day out of the whole year that I get to eat it. I even bring a little container with me and bring some home and the next day I cook some linguine and heat the bacala up and pour it over. I feel like I have died and gone to heaven. It is so g.o.o.d.

Santa pays a visit dressed in his royal attire with a beard thrown in and offers gifts to all the little ones as well as the big ones. It's nice to see how the little kids have grown, to hear how they are doing whether in nursery school, regular school, college or in the working field. My aunts, cousins, their children and their children (4 generations) mingle and laugh and break bread. This is a tradition that my nona and nono had when they were alive in their home. Then when they died their children took turns every year hosting it at their home. It finally got to a point that there were close to 60 of us so we rent a hall now. I hope this continues for the rest of my life and then is handed down to the next generation to keep doing it. I look forward to it every year.


By Joesgirl

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December 23, 20040 found this helpful

Does your Italian family have the traditional seven fish dishes on xmas eve? Do you make the cappelini with nuts,olives & anchovies garlic. Saute in olive oil pour over the pasta. It is sooo good. Boy we Italians sure know how to eat------

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January 2, 20050 found this helpful

Is there traditional gifts that are given?

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January 5, 20050 found this helpful

Our big family Christmas celebration is much like Joesgirl's Italian family celebration. We are at around 40-45 people, so haven't gone to a hall yet. Those with big enough homes take turns hosting. Everyone brings a dish to pass, we draw names on Thanksgiving for the adults, and everyone brings a wrapped gift for their own child. Two of the uncles take the kids on a hay-ride around the neighborhood; one uncle drives and the other plays the guitar while everyone sings Christmas carols. Before we had a trailer, we used a big van. When we return, the kids get a breathtaking glimpse of Santa leaving the house, and then they see their gifts under the tree. We have been doing this for over 20 years, and the children say it is their favorite part of Christmas!

By Julie

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