Tanya's Daily Scoop NEXT TRIP DEPARTS IN: 16 DAYS
Oh my Goodness! Oh my Goodness! Oh my Goodness! Only 2 days until Christmas!
Today is Christmas Eve's Eve!!
Although traditionally Italians celebrate on La Vigilia (Christmas Eve) *see Elisa's column for more details. But since my Grandparents always celebrated on Christmas Day, that is what my family has always done. In fact there was one year when I was around 11 years old that for some reason we decided to open gifts on Christmas Eve (I think it was my step-dad's idea).
Well, let me tell you...waking up on Christmas Day that year was quite memorable and rather depressing. It just wasn't the same and I vowed to NEVER do that again. I love sticking to all of our Italian Family Traditions and since at some point in time well before I was born this one might have veered off from the homeland it has become our family tradition.
What are some of your family traditions?
I managed plenty of food shopping yesterday, but still have some things on my list, which I'll tackle today and there are ever a few last items I'm waiting until tomorrow to pick up.
Our Christmas Eve consists of a delicious family dinner where we all gather around the table and eat Family Style Shrimp Scampi over Linguine (and of course a vegan version). This is a meal that hasn't changed for us for years and years and was one of my Grandparent's favorites. It's always on the menu and it's always amazing!
And again as Elisa explains "Eating is probably the biggest aspect that happens on December 24th!"
The Feast of the Seven Fishes is part of the Italian-American Christmas Eve celebration. So we loosely stick to this, but limit it to only a couple of dishes, because our feast and big (huge) celebration happens on Christmas Day!
On the Christmas menu this year: Insalata di Finocchi Bruchetta Sauteed Rapini Manicotti Cannelloni Stuffed Shells and Baked Ziti (Pasta al forno)
EVERYTHING HOMEMADE from SCRATCH of course!
I'm so EXCITED!
And then although there are no gifts under the tree until Santa's arrival (once we are all deep in slumber). A couple of elves do manage to drop off a few little surprises for the family to open after dinner.
The biggest surprise however is when we wake up to find a magical mountain of wrapped gifts spread well past underneath the tree. The look on the children's faces upon first sight is PRICELESS!
Speaking of children, yesterday the kids had their last performance of 2015, and they all did awesome!
But after a quite busy holiday performance schedule this season, I'm pretty sure that the kids are all ready to their little Christmas break! Choir will resume early January...
Yesterday was also Mika's 7th birthday, but by the time she got home she was already all pooped out from all the fun and excitement from her BIG day that she was sound asleep by the time that I got to see her. Boo.
Well I've got lots and lots to do, with running around, starting to cook, making tons of cookies, taking Dominic to his class, and hopefully finishing the chore of wrapping...it's gonna be a long night!
See ya tomorrow, -T
Elisa's Daily Scoop CURRENTLY TRAVELING IN: BOCA RATON, FLORIDA
HAPPY WEDNESDAY FOLKS!!
While I'm aware that there are 2 days till Christmas, for my family, in the Italian Culture, tomorrow is the more significant celebration.
Christmas Eve, December 24th, is when we traditionally begin celebrating the birth of Jesus. The history of this tradition has its roots in Christianity and dating further back...
In Italy the Christmas season runs from December 24-January 6, or Christmas Eve through Epiphany.
These dates follows the pagan season of celebrations that started with Saturnalia, a winter solstice festival, and ended with the Roman New Year, the Calends.
Saturnalia was an ancient Roman festival in honour of the Roman god, Saturn, which became the most popular of Roman festivals, and its influence is still felt in the celebration of Christmas and the Western world's New Year.
It was originally celebrated on December 17, but it was later extended to seven days.
Today, in Italy, many events start on December 8, the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception
Christmas decorations and trees are becoming more popular in Italy with decor going up around December 8, the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception.
The Nativity scene or creche, which is called the Presepe in Italian, is the main focus of decorations in churches, piazzas and public areas.
In our family, the focus of Christmas Eve is eating, midnight mass and gift giving after church.
The Nativity (credit: initaly.com)
Eating is probably the biggest aspect that happens on December 24th! The Feast of the Seven Fishes is part of the Italian-American Christmas Eve celebration
It originates, from Southern Italy, where it is known as The Vigil (La Vigilia). Some Italian-American families have even been known to celebrate with nine, eleven or thirteen different seafood dishes. This celebration commemorates the wait for the midnight birth of the baby Jesus.
The long tradition of eating seafood on Christmas Eve dates back to the Roman Catholic tradition of abstinence from meat or animal fat, so instead, observant Catholics would instead eat fish, typically fried in oil. That tradition is still part of my family's Christmas celebration.
Today, I will be gathering all the supplies we will need for our Christmas Eve dinner.
This year, we will not be making a huge feast since there are only six of us. I'll be putting our menu together and sharing it with you tomorrow.