• The beginning of the Christmas season is on Thanksgiving with a parade in New York with the figure of Santa Claus.

  • The legend of Santa Claus was born in the USA in 1860. The name comes from the Dutch name St. Nicholas (Sintaklaas). He lives in a village in Wilmintong (state of New York), where there are also some reindeer.

  • American houses are decorated with holy, mistletoe and branches of trees. Americans also use strings of popcorn, candy canes and many lights.

  • On Christmas Eve people go to the mass of 12 am and when they return home they drink coffee or tea and eat biscuits, then they exchange presents.

  • If there are children at home they go to bed at 10 pm, then adults decorate the Christmas tree and put the presents under it; they hang stockings and in them they put fruit, small toys and chocolate. Children leave under the trees one mince pie (Santa’s favourite food) with a glass of brandy or sherry and a carrot for the reindeer.

  • Today the mince pies are offered to the postman and the many students that in Christmas time deliver the greetings cards.


  • The traditional Christmas dinner consists of roast turkey with vegetables, blueberries and cranberry or apple sauce or ham, potatoes or pies. Lumberjack Pie (a tart made with potatoes, annanori onions and meat)

  • Traditional desserts are the traditional Christmas pudding with brandy sauce, mince pies (made of pastry and filled with dry fruit) with fresh cream, Crostoli (a fried bread spiced with orange peel) and ‘pfeffernuesse (a bread full of sweet spices), Berlinerkranser (particular cookies), Meltaways, the Gingerbread Man and Christmas muffins.

  • Typical drinks are concoction made with cream, milk, eggs, sugar and rum or brandy.

  • On Christmas Eve Italian families cook spaghetti with garlic, olive oil and fish, usually baccalà, cod or tuna. Then they eat cottage cheese, pepper, homemade anise biscuits and sometimes tiramisu.


  • In Washington there is a very large Christmas Tree, that comes from Norway and is usually 20 meters high. It is decorated with lots of electric lights and crowned with a crystal star. The lights switch on when the president presses a button.

  • In New York there is the traditional tree at the Rockfeller Center with its 30 thousands lights.


  1. When is the beginning of the Christmas season?

  2. When and where was the legend of Santa Claus born?

  3. Where does he live for the Americans?

  4. How are American houses decorated?

  5. What do people do on Christmas Eve?

  6. Give examples of what people do on Christmas Eve

when there are children at home.

  1. What does the traditional Christmas Dinner consists of?

  2. What is a Lumberjack Tart?

  3. Give examples of some traditional Christmas desserts.

10.What are the traditional drinks?

11. Do Italian families in the USA celebrate in different

ways? Give examples.

  1. What are the main symbols of Christmas in the USA?

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