There are similarities and differences between Christmas in America and Christmas in Italy. The feast of Christmas originated with the birth of Jesus Christ on December 25, a day around the shortest day of the year. Therefore, the main reason we celebrate the holiday is to celebrate the birthday of Christ. Another reason to celebrate Christmas includes the changing of the seasons and the days that will shorten before becoming long. The shortest day, which does not necessarily fall on Christmas, is the winter solstice, which is also a pagan agricultural holiday to mark the changes in the seasons. More simply, we celebrate Christmas around the world as an inspiration to imitate the ethical behaviors of Christ, who unconditionally loved all men and women, regardless of their beliefs or backgrounds.
Americans and Italians offer countless special holiday games and activities for their children, both at home and at school. Santa Claus, what is it?Babbo Native“In Italy, it brings surprises for children on Christmas Day. Almost all children receive some presents on Christmas Eve and / or Christmas Day. Children open their packages or empty their stockings while family members enjoy watching them rejoice in Surprises Gifts for children range from candy to stuffed animals and other more sophisticated toys.
Exchanging gifts between family and friends is the business aspect of the party that has been embraced by large and small business store owners. Spending money in stores stimulates the economy during good years of prosperity. One thing that sets America apart is that Americans receive more merchant catalogs in the mail each year to show what items will be available before and after the holidays. Americans not only enjoy finding bargains on gifts, but they also make good sales the day after Christmas. Americans tend to hunt for the bargains, and now Italians have even started their own bargain sales on “Black Friday” the day after Thanksgiving in America. Reports indicate that Italians began most of their Christmas offerings this year (2015) with decorations in their stores right after Macy’s in New York held their annual Thanksgiving Day parade. In fact, I was a witness to this case in Novara, Italy.
People in Italy and the United States often enjoy shopping for friends and family. There are many similarities between the gifts they give because both Americans and Italians like toys, electronics, clothing, and food for friends and family. Too often some people forget that the meaning behind the season is to express the simplicity of love. Instead, some people expect great gifts or try to see who gives the best and most expensive gift of all. Christmas becomes frustrating for jobless people who don’t have money to buy gifts, but some struggling people have been smart enough to bake cookies, make crafts, or provide a free service to loved ones instead of giving them the gift. . traditional gifts. There is no doubt that both Americans and Italians occasionally forget the spirit of the season, that Christ would have recommended helping the poor and needy during the holidays. Regardless of one’s background, there is always the risk of forgetting the true meaning of Christmas as we try to outdo our neighbors, friends, and families. The essence of the season is not about “looking good” or “beautiful figure fee. “
Both Italians and Americans like to sit down and eat a lot of food with their family members. Some families live in tough economic times with too many bills, high mortgages to pay, and no jobs. Fortunately for most, there are merry Christmas meals on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, when it is also a time to party, possibly even more hours of party in the southern region of Italy than anywhere else. Many of the dishes served are similar and others are different. Most Americans and Italians have a meat main course, some side dishes, salads, and some sweets at the end. The food served differs within regions of Italy with southern Italians tending to eat more seafood while their northern counterparts eat more meat. Americans often enjoy turkey, ham, and roast beef. That said, dietary habits on both sides of the ocean are changing, which is why more and more people are turning vegetarians serving dishes like vegetarian tofu and lasagna. Although most Americans literally go crazy for spaghetti and pizza, those two dishes are not typically eaten on Christmas Day and are reserved for before and after the holidays.
Italians and Americans often enjoy helping the poor at Christmas. This can be done by giving money at church and elsewhere. In American schools, students collect collections of food to deliver to the poor. In part, this is done wisely to teach young children to have compassion for others. Italians give their donations to help the poor at the supermarket instead of at school, and there is the famous Communitá di Santo Egidio that helps people in Italy at Christmas. Fortunately, the American branch of the Salvation Army rings its bells every year in front of grocery stores to help anyone in need get a warm coat, some shoes, clothing and food. Countless Americans in churches donate food regularly and there are even homeless shelters. In some parts of Italy, Santa Claus tells stories and gives gifts to any child who shows up to the reading event.
Most people would agree that the true meaning of Christmas is to be different from Scrooge and more like Saint Francis. People should help everyone in need, regardless of their origins. This message is emphasized by Pope Francis and other leaders with strong moral values. Catholics try to emulate the goodness of saints who were not worshiped, but rather observed for their great deeds, while both Protestants and Catholics follow the teachings of Christ and the various books of the Bible. People of other faiths, even spiritual non-believers, feel the need to help others during the Christmas season, as the main point of such a widespread holiday is to love other humans and respect the world we live in as Christ did it. Few would argue against the notion that it is appropriate to support humanity and nature.
Italians are lucky enough to be able to eat many variations of Panettone, a great cake that often has fruit and vanilla. That same cake is now sold in American stores, but the versions found in Italy tend to be more delicious. Such a cake can easily be baked at home in America with a good recipe that uses baking soda and / or baking powder. Alternatively, Americans eat tons of shortcake, which is delicious too if you buy the right brand, one of those delicious brands is Collins Street Bakery in Texas!
Italians extend the national holiday until the day after Christmas, Santo Stefano, a day that has been an official holiday since 1947. Although Americans generally don’t pay much attention to the Santo Stefano holiday, most of them still don’t work on the day. After Christmas. , unless they work in the retail market and offer sales to vacationers. On the day of Santo Stefano, Italians enjoy another special meal in addition to a pleasant one passaggiata or walking around the city with the family. It is a good time for long family discussions or to visit the mother’s or father’s side of the family. Italians are very fortunate to visit the markets, see small parades, and see nativity displays like those found in the small museums of the nativity known in Italian as presepi.
Both cultures display lights in their homes and in the city. For Americans, it often turns into a festival of lights competition. Perhaps some of the most famous American lights can be found in New York’s Rockefeller Center. Italian lighting is usually done by the town hall or town where you live. There is more lighting in big cities like Rome or Florence, where the streets are filled with tourists. Certainly almost everyone has trees in their homes, as well as some lighting around the trees. Americans display more real candles than Italians, and one of the great American hobbies has been going out and cutting down real evergreens (which were grown for that purpose) each year. The felling of the tree was done by a parent or grandparent in the tradition of a pioneer. In Italy, trees are more rare, so they are usually fake trees that are reused year after year. Murano glass from Venice makes excellent Italian ornaments or decorates the home year-round in the form of lamps and small sculptures.
Italians are fortunate that this celebration continues until the “Befana” arrives on Epiphany day in January. Between the night of January 5 and 6, the Befana brings candy to children’s homes in Italy. The name “Befana” is actually another way of saying Epifany, but in a folkloric and secular sense of the word. Representations of Befana they are very similar to those of the witches of American cuisine that are quite popular in the United States. In some small towns, an old woman dresses up as Befana to amuse the children. Legend has it that he helped the shepherds find the Child Jesus when he was born. This legend does not agree with biblical teachings, but it is a beautiful secular touch, much like Santa Claus.
Americans are usually back in school for Epiphany Day, but American kids would probably enjoy such a celebration with candy and stockings, too. Many American children at least have the opportunity to study Befana in their primary classes as they enthusiastically try to learn more about Italy. In fact, I have observed that many Italian Americans in the Atlanta area continue to celebrate Befana in one form or another with their grandparents who immigrated to the United States.
In both Italy and the United States, the Christmas holidays are primarily about praising God and his son Jesus, with the spirit of the season being that of goodness and the spirit of people who share precious moments with their relatives. The result is that the citizens of Italy and the United States try to be kind to each other in anticipation of a greater heavenly kingdom while making this world a much better place. We all share the tradition of contemplating those artistic births with the Child Jesus, Mary, Joseph, Angels and Shepherds in them! Angels, bells, wreaths and candles remain the shared symbols of the Christmas season with Christians and others who recognize the beauty of a young child who grew up to be an excellent example of how we should live with love for our fellow man around the world. . May some good Italian and American traditions stimulate peace and goodwill on earth! These shared festivities are for everyone on earth who wants to visit two fascinating countries as their Christmas vacation destinations!