Italian Christmas Eve

My informant is my best friend’s mother. She comes from a very Italian family, and learned a lot of folklore from her own grandmother. She is a fascinating woman who has traveled the world. She has a wide knowledge of Native American history and folklore. She is involved with the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, a diverse group of women from around the world who are devoted to prayer. She lives on Nantucket, so I was able to Skype with her one day to talk about things she has learned from her Italian heritage, in particular, as well as her other vast knowledge of folklore from around the world.


[On Italian Heritage]

Informant: “In Italy, they didn’t have Santa Claus. For Christmas…on Christmas Eve… they had their big Christmas dinner and children would lay out an article of clothing on the front lawn. The story was that the three wise men would come and leave them a little something, an orange or some candy, or something really small. It was always something small, simple.”