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Christmas in the United States compared to Christmas in Italy, two pleasant holiday destinations!

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 doesn’t necessarily fall on Christmas, is the winter solstice, which is also a pagan agricultural holiday to mark the changes in the 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 their beliefs or backgrounds.

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, bring surprises to children on Christmas Day. Almost every child receives some gifts on Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day. Children open their packages or empty their stockings while family members enjoy watching them cheer for Surprises Gifts for children range from sweets to stuffed animals to other more sophisticated toys.

Gift exchange between family and friends is the business 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 catalogs from merchants 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, they also see great deals the day after Christmas. Americans tend to hunt for bargains, and now Italians have even started their own “Black Friday” bargain sales the day after Thanksgiving in America. Reports indicate that Italians started most of their Christmas deals this year (2015) with decorations in their stores just after Macy’s in New York held their annual Thanksgiving Day Parade. In fact, I witnessed 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 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 the 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 “fee beautiful figure.”

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. Luckily for most, there are joyous festive meals on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, when it’s also a time to feast, possibly even more hours of feasting in the southern Italian region than anywhere else. Many of the dishes served are similar and some are different. Most Americans and Italians have a main meat dish, some sides, 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 being said, dietary habits on both sides of the ocean are changing, so more and more people are turning vegetarian and serving up dishes like tofu and vegetarian lasagna. Although most Americans literally go crazy for spaghetti and pizza, those two dishes are rarely 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 in the church and in other places. In American schools, students make food drives to give to the poor. In part, this is wisely done 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 who helps people in Italy at Christmas. Fortunately, the American branch of The Salvation Army rings their bells in front of grocery stores every year to help anyone in need get a warm coat, some shoes, clothes, and food. Countless Americans in churches regularly donate food 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 San Francisco. People should 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 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 your 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 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 the versions found in Italy tend to be more delicious. Such a cake can easily be baked at home in the United States with a good recipe that uses 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 to 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 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 in addition to 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 lucky to visit markets, watch small parades, and see nativity displays like those found in the small nativity museums known in Italian as presepi.

Both cultures display lights in their homes and around 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 in which you live. There is more lighting in big cities like Rome or Florence where the streets are full of tourists. Indeed, almost everyone has trees in their homes, as well as some lighting around the trees. Americans display more real candles than Italians do, and one of the great American pastimes has been to go out and cut down real evergreens (which were bred for that purpose) each 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 all year round 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 to 6, the befana 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 befana they are very similar to the American kitchen witches that are quite popular in the United States. In some small towns, an old woman dresses as the Befana to amuse the children. Legend has it that she helped the shepherds find Baby Jesus when she was born. This legend doesn’t jibe with Biblical teachings, but it’s a beautiful secular touch, much like Santa Claus.

Americans usually go back to school for Epiphany Day, but American kids would probably enjoy such a celebration with candy and stockings too! Many American children have at least the opportunity to study the befana in their elementary 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 mainly about praising God and his son Jesus, with the spirit of the season being that of goodness and the spirit of people sharing precious moments with their families. 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 nativity scenes 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 little boy who grew up to be a prime example of how we should live in love for our neighbor. Worldwide. May some beautiful Italian and American traditions encourage peace and goodwill on earth! These shared festivities are for every person on earth who wishes to visit two fascinating countries as their Christmas vacation destinations!

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