OK, I know its a very, very late post, but what the hell. I'm gonna talk about Christmas in Italy anyway.
Being away from home on Christmas day is a totally new experience for me. Despite the cheerful atmosphere in my host family's household, I couldn't help that feeling about missing home and my family.
On Christmas eve, we had a BIG dinner and I mean a HUUUGE dinner. I've never eaten so much food before. At home, my family used to prepare several types of food and we'd leave it on the table for others to take as much as they want.
I'd usually take one meal and I'm done. But here in Italy, things are a little different. Instead of one course like I'd normally have, they have about 5 courses!! XP
These are some of the things we had for Christmas. The food is SOOO good. I really enjoyed it, but there's so much food, I felt like I could explode any minute.
Later on, Lia took me to their basement where they store all their food.
I've never seen so much tomato sauce all my life. They made it themselves last summer. Its used for pasta and other food. Like, seriously? Can they really finish it all in one year??
Actually, I think they can because I've been having food with tomato sauce nearly all the time.
Check it out! Apparently, their uncle and grandpa makes their own wine. How cool is that??
That's where they store their wine. I've tasted it a few times. Its pretty good, actually. Its not as strong as the wine we usually have at home, but its just perfect for me.
On Christmas day, we went to church. The mass is celebrated a little differently compared to Malaysia.
First of all, its obviously celebrated in Italian, its alright to enter the church late (as in very late. Like, after the homily late), the choir sounds so good (and the priest is not complaining that they sound too 'professional' like my church), and you can exist before the priest leaves once mass has ended. The priest would stay at the altar and greet the parishioners instead.
After mass, my host family took me to a place where there's so many displays of the scene when Jesus was born. Its so beautiful!
I just love the 3D scenes. It must've taken a lot of work to do it.
Isn't it absolutely stunning?
According to the Italian tradition, the gifts are exchanged and opened on Christmas day, unlike my tradition where we exchange gifts on the 26th December which is Boxing day.
I'm was surprised that I actually got a gift at all for Christmas. I mean, I'm just a stranger in the house. I did get each the member of my host family a Malaysian gift though. I hope they liked it.
I was very touched when their aunt gave me something as well as a classmate from school. Even my host mom and dad gave me something too.
Anyway, spending Christmas in Italy made me realize that its not about the gifts, its not about the decorations, and its not about the food. I learnt that Christmas is about being with your loved ones and the miracle birth of Jesus.
I missed my family so much on Christmas, but I had a blast with my host family at the same time.
Merry belated Christmas and a happy new year! <3