I have really enjoyed learning about the Christmas traditions of southern Italian village where my family comes from. While I am sure they looked different at the time of my great grandmother, today it looks like this. Families celebrate on Christmas eve with a meal being the main event. Over the course of the evening 13 things must hit the table, and be eaten! Only fish dishes are served, with Cod being the star of the show. Cod is served battered and fried, baked with tomato sauce and olives, and in a potato stew style dish. Snacks for the day include roasted chestnuts, dried figs, spears of fennel, and clementines (all to be included as part of the 13 things).
The whole family gets involved in the cooking, eating, and maybe the odd shouting match. Wine flows until its time to go to midnight mass. In homes, nativity scenes are more popular than Christmas trees, and small gifts are exchanged anytime throughout the evening.
On this Christmas day, I wish you and yours a wonderful and peaceful day. Buon Natale!