Following some last minute shopping, we'd go get coffee at the beach, or lunch at Chipotle and home for maybe a Charger game. At night we go to church and then home to open one present, which we always knew.. and always looked forward to (christmas pajamas) and eat the best Tomato Bisque soup known to man (or at least to me.)
The next morning, my sister and I celebrate with Dad and Sherri, some chocolate chip waffles are created, and hot cocoa with coffee is sipped. A sugar high for all is had. Then off to Grandma's for round two and a nice quiet afternoon lunch for the three of us.
This Christmas, it was the complete opposite. It started the day Giancarlo and I returned from Germany. We had a mini-Christmas for just the two of us, then it was off to pack for a few days in Fano before his parents and brother came over.
Wednesday afternoon we headed over to Fano and within an hour of getting to Fano, we were picked up for Christmas Eve, Italian style. It started at 8, over at Zia's with antipasti which was an array of fish. It's a tradition from their region in the south, to have fish on Christmas Eve.
Second up, another assortment of fish... I believe eels were involved. Following fish, a bakery of desserts were placed on the table. Everyone talking all at once, dishes being passed over one another and wine glasses constantly being filled. Definitely not like the Christmas Eve's of my past.
Following dinner, caffe was consumed and we were off to Midnight mass, and la processione, where il prete (the Priest) places baby Jesus in the presepio (nativity) But we're not done there... After Midnight mass, we were off to a bar near Zia's home where friends gathered to "Auguri" each other on Christmas Eve while drinking (free) mulled wine or vin brule` in front of a bonfire. I don't remember what time we arrived back home, but it was enough time to get a little shut eye before doing it all over again on Christmas Day.
Christmas Day consisted of even more food, more desserts and a few Italian card games that I still am "non ho capito" on. A break of about an hour was taken, and then back at Zia's for yes, you guessed it, more food. It was time for dinner. The following day was Festa di Santo Stefano, a day for the saint which involves more food to be eaten, and of course... we ate.
I'm not sure if my stomach would be able to ever do this again, but it was definitely ...for me... an experience I won't ever forget.