Christmas traditions in ItalyMarinah Boyles
Host families of exchange students open their homes because they want to provide an opportunity for students to see American culture. The Christmas season is one of many occasions when an exchange student can experience the American way of life. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing current exchange students, discussing traditions in their home countries and their experiences thus far of spending the holiday season in America.
photo credit: sprittibee
These are a few of the questions I asked …
:: What is your favorite Christmas memory from home? Definitely when I was little. I used to leave some cookies with some milk outside the window for when Santa Claus would come. Then the doorbell would ring, and when I opened the door, there were a lot of presents for me!
:: What kinds of Christmas decorations are displayed in your country? We always put a Christmas tree up, usually on the 8th of December, with a lot of different decorations. We also put the nicest Christmas cards we received over the past years, some candles and other little ornaments.
:: What are some foods you made/eat at Christmas time? At Christmas Eve, we have a big family dinner at my house. My dad cooks almost everything. It’s usually a fish-based dinner with appetizers, pasta, other entrées, sides and a lot of desserts. On the 25th I usually go to my grandma’s house and she cooks food that is more typical of my region and my city. The main dish is meat tortellini (she makes them from scratch). They are fabulous!
:: What do you think is the strangest tradition in the United States? I haven’t experienced an American Christmas yet, but perhaps the strangest tradition is all of the decoration people put outside their homes. We also do it in Italy but not so much!! I like it though!
:: What is the Christmas music in your culture like? The music is more or less the same as American music. We have songs like Jingle Bells or White Christmas. I believe they have the same melody…they are just translated in Italian!
:: Are there any traditions that you have brought with you to the United States? I might make tortellini during my Christmas break. I will spend it in Florida at my host grandparents’ house…my grandma would be so proud of me!
Have you ever spent Christmas in another country?
What did you experience?