|Buon Natale! Christmas in Italy|
Have a houseful of kids who are already bored with their holiday gifts? Has an arctic chill kept them inside day after day during what seems like an interminable vacation? Wondering how to celebrate an Italian Christmas with your children this holiday? Here are some educational ideas that will keep them entertained and may be the start of new family traditions at the same time.
Take The Italian Christmas Quiz
Just because school is out doesn't mean youngsters have to forget their studies. Your children's time on the Internet can be more educational when they take the Italian Christmas quiz. All of the answers can be found here in the feature Buon Natale! Christmas In Italy.
Find an Italian Penpal
Introduce a child to an Italian pen pal to practice the Italian language, learn more about the culture and traditions of Christmas, and exchange e-greetings. It's an ideal way to reinforce the concept of peace and goodwill for all people during the holidays.
Bake Italian Cookies and Pastries
Children of all ages the world over have heart-warming memories of mouth-watering smells emanating from the kitchen at Christmas time. Why not let your children help bake an Italian dessert like biscotti or cicerata. They are two simple, kid-proof dessert recipes that children will enjoy learning to prepare.
Learn About the Legend of La Befana
The legend of La Befana is very appealing to youngsters, especially considering that, according to tradition, the kindly old witch brings children toys on January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany. Try teaching them the lyrics to La Befana.
Build a Crèche
In Italy there are living presepi, in which actors and animals recreate the Nativity scene, exhibitions with hundreds of crèches and mechanized figurines, and museums devoted solely to presepe. In Vatican City there is an enormous nativity scene in Piazza San Pietro erected for the Christmas season. In the spirit of the season, teach a youngster about the history of the nativity and help her to construct her own crèche.
Sing Italian Christmas Carols
Popular Italian Christmas carols (canzoni di Natale) include: Gesù Bambino 'l È Nato ("Baby Jesus Is Born"), Tu Scendi dalle Stelle ("You Came Down From the Stars"), Mille Cherubini in Coro ("A Thousand-Cherub Chorus") and La Canzone di Zampagnone ("Carol of the Bagpipers"). For a true diversion, try filastrocche calabresi sul Natale, Calabrian dialect Christmas songs.