Merry Christmas the Italian Way.

Well, the snow is falling and I'm leaving you for the holiday with some Italian Christmas traditions.  Merry Christmas!

Italian households display a nativity, or presepio, to remind them what they day celebrates.

via charmingshoppe

In some areas of Italy, a yule log, or ceppo, is burnt to represent purification. Italian children leave their shoes out on Christmas Eve to receive gifts from La Befena.  It's told that she is the witch who went searching for the baby Jesus on the night of his birth, but never found him.

It is Italian tradition to fast from meat on Christmas.  In Sicily, fish is abundant and is the protein of choice.  Because it is said that God created the world in 7 days, it has become custom to enjoy 7 fish courses for Christmas Eve dinner.