a special edition: christmas in italy.

sorella taylor getting the apartment christmas-y. woo!

an italian christmas season:

thanksgiving day (in america) is the first christmas kick off in italy. moms wake up at 5am to make pettole (fried foccacia dough dipped in sugar or honey). the children wake up early to eat the treat and watch marching bands march down the streets playing christmas music in the wee hours of the morning before school.
december 8 -- madonna immaculata. the second christmas kickoff. school is cancelled, stores are closed, pettole are made and eaten again, decorations are put up, lights around the city turn on, and mary is remembered.
lights on the balconies here are INSANE! they are all colored lights that are flashy and feel like vegas. the lights on the christmas trees are like that too. kinda weird to me but hey, when in rome ... or taranto.
pandoro is this huge cake that is really delicious that is only available during the christmas season. i am serious when i say they are huge; like really tall. but way good!
i feel like all of the balconies have this really silly decoration. it is a little santa climbing up a ladder with a bag of presents on his back. seriously every balcony has this. even the anziani!
everyone has a really big, really fancy and beautiful nativity scene (or "presepio") in their homes and around town in the shop windows.

these are what i have learned so far. but what i love the most is in italy, christ is really the center of christmas. actually christ is the center of their lives, though unfortunately he gets a little bit hidden behind all of the saints and mary, even. but there is something to be said about a people that love their savior. the feeling of christmas just oozes out of everything and everyone in italy. it is a beautiful, beautiful thing!!

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