Monday, January 5, 2009

My Big Fat Italian Christmas

My Christmas traditions at home in San Diego are simple. Christmas Eve my sister and I usually go with my Dad for some last minute stocking stuffers at Rite-Aide. Mainly, it's my Dad searching for the .99 cent toys that are now down to .25 cents that he can play with. For me, it's one of my favorite things to do with him, and something that was missed so much this year.

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.)

Christmas 2007

Dad making sure everything is in place

Sherri's beautiful Christmas table

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.

Traditional stair shot (Nicole- this is for you!)

Christmas waffles!

Drinking the famous coffee hot cocoa

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.

Our little Christmas tree

Presents from California waiting to be opened

digging, and digging....

Goodies from America...and pajamas!!!!

They're definitely not Sherri's chocolate chip waffles, but they were tasty

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.

Shrimp antipasto

Various fish dishes...all homemade

Zeppole, made specially for Giancarlo (that's what happens when nonna calls zia!)

For nonna!

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.

Outside of the Church

Biscotti, vin brule`, and for free... Auguri!

Bonfire anyone?

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.

Traditional Christmas primi, cappolletti in brodo

Caffe and cards

The worlds sweetest people, Zia and Zio

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.

1 comment:

MissB said...

What wonderful pictures! Your Italian Christmas looks wonderful - hope you had a good time.

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