There are similarities and differences between Christmas in America and Christmas in Italy. The Christmas holiday originated with the birth of Jesus Christ on December 25, 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 get shorter before getting longer again. The shortest day, which does not necessarily fall on Christmas, is the winter solstice, which is also a pagan agricultural holiday to mark the changing seasons. Quite 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 his beliefs or background.

Americans and Italians provide countless special Christmas games and activities for their children, both at home and at school. Santa Claus, who is he?Babbo native” In Italy, it brings surprises to children on Christmas day. Almost all children receive some gifts on Christmas Eve and/or Christmas day. Children open their packages or empty their stockings while family members enjoy watching them rejoice over surprises Gifts for children range from sweets to stuffed animals to other more sophisticated toys.

The exchange of gifts between family and friends is the commercial aspect of the holiday that has been embraced by merchants large and small. 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 also attend good deals 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 the United States. Reports indicate that Italians began most of their Christmas sales this year (2015) with decorations in their stores right after Macy’s in New York held its 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, clothes, 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 big gifts or try to see who gives the best and most expensive gift of all. Christmas gets frustrating for those out of work who don’t have money to buy gifts, but some struggling people have been smart enough to bake cookies, do crafts, or provide a free service for their loved ones instead of giving the gifts. traditional. 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 a risk of forgetting the true meaning of Christmas as we try to outdo our neighbors, friends, and family. The essence of the season is not about “looking good” or “beautiful figure rate.”

Both Italians and Americans like to sit down and eat a lot of food with their family members. Some families live in difficult financial times with too many bills, high mortgages to pay, and no job. Fortunately for most, there are merry festive meals on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, when it’s also a time of festivity, possibly even more hours of festivity in the southern Italian region 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 the 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, so more and more people are turning vegetarian and serving dishes like vegetarian tofu and lasagna. Although most Americans literally go crazy for spaghetti and pizza, those two dishes aren’t usually 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 take food drives to give to the poor. In part, this is done wisely to teach young children compassion for others. Italians give their donations to help the poor at the supermarket instead of at school, and there is the famous Community of 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, clothes, and food. Countless Americans regularly donate food at churches and there are even homeless shelters. In some parts of Italy, Santa Claus tells stories and gives gifts to any child who shows up for 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 must help all those 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 the 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 religions, even spiritual non-believers, feel the need to help others during Christmas, since the main point of such a widespread holiday is to love our neighbor and respect the world we live in as Christ did. . Few would argue against the notion that supporting humanity and nature is appropriate.

Italians are lucky enough to be able to eat many variations of Panettone, a large cake that often has fruit and vanilla. That same cake is now sold in American stores, but versions found in Italy tend to be more delicious. Such a cake can be easily baked at home in America with a good recipe using baking soda and/or baking powder. Alternatively Americans eat tons of fruitcake which is also delicious if one buys the right brand, one such delicious brand is from 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 feast of Santo Stefano, most of them are still free. from work the day after Christmas. unless they work in the retail market and offer sales to vacationers. On Santo Stefano day, Italians enjoy another special meal as well as a nice passaggiata or walk 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 markets, see small parades, and see nativity displays such as those found in the small nativity museums 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 carried out by the town hall or town in which you live. There is more lighting in big cities like Rome or Florence where the streets are filled with tourists. Certainly, almost all people have trees in their houses, as well as some lighting around the trees. Americans display more real candles than Italians, and one of the great American pastimes has been going out and cutting down real evergreens (that were bred for that purpose) every year. The felling of the tree was done with a father or grandfather in the tradition of a pioneer. In Italy, trees are more scarce, so they are usually fake trees that are reused year after year. Murano glass from Venice makes an excellent Italian ornament or decorates the home throughout the year in the form of lamps and small sculptures.

Italians are lucky that this celebration continues until the “Befana” arrives on Epiphany day in January. Between the night of January 5 and 6, the baby brings sweets to children’s homes in Italy. The name “Befana” is actually another way of saying Epiphany but in a folkloric and secular sense of the word. descriptions of the baby they are very similar to those of the American kitchen witches that are quite popular in the United States. In some small towns, an old woman dresses up as the Befana to amuse the children. Legend has it that she helped shepherds find Baby Jesus when she was born. This legend does not agree with biblical teachings, but it is a beautiful secular twist, much like Santa Claus.

Americans usually go back to school for Epiphany, but American kids would probably enjoy such a candy-and-stocking celebration too! Many American children have at least the opportunity to study baby in their primary classes as they eagerly 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 America, the Christmas holidays are mostly about praising God and his son Jesus, with the spirit of the season being that of kindness and the spirit of people sharing precious moments with family members. The result is that the citizens of Italy and the United States try to be nice 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 nativity scenes with Baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, Angels and Shepherds in them! Angels, bells, wreaths, and candles continue to be the shared symbols of the Christmas season with Christians and others who recognize the beauty of a little child who grew up to be a fine example of how we should live with love for one another. all over the world. May some beautiful 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!

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