Arrivederci Natale

Presepio Italian Beginners

Again this year, the 6th of January has arrived… the time to take down our presepio (nativity scene) and put all our little buildings, figurines and lights in our big box, and up they go to the attic.

Every year our creation gets new pieces… this year we added a few mountains and a well. New materials are always welcome and they can be provided by all sorts of things: new packaging from a delivery (all the houses in the picture), boxes (the mountains) or clay (the well). Some items such as grass and bushes are from professional shops such as Marks model in town. In theory they sell all that’s necessary for model trains, but their grass sheets and bushes are just perfect in our presepio. 

Kevin and I always keep an eye out during the year for new materials that can spark new ideas for our presepio. It is a great tradition that has been passed down to me from my family. In fact, all the figures, the stable and the shooting star were the same I used to put in my own presepio as a little girl. It is great that my son enjoys this tradition… in fact he said that <<Fare il presepio è una delle cose che amo di più del Natale (making the presepio is one of the things I love the most about Christmas)>>. And he became very good at it!

Of course, I didn’t invent the Presepio (or Presepe), but Francesco d’Assisi (Saint Frances d’Assisi) did: the first Presepio in the world took place in Greggio town in 1223 and it was a living nativity scene with real animals and people. And the ‘Presepio vivente’ (living nativity scene) is still a tradition in many small Italian towns at Christmas time. 

Benvenuta Befana!

But, last night at midnight, I Re Magi (Three Wise Men) arrived to pay homage to Gesù Bambino in our Presepio and the Befana visited our house, too. In fact, today we found our stockings filled with small and lovely presents that the Befana brought for us. And tomorrow we’ll say goodbye to our presepio… It is really true what we say in Italy ‘L’Epifania tutte le feste porta via (the Epiphany takes away all the holidays)’, but this time kids are not back to school, yet… Mamma mia!

Italian Conversation
English translation: With broom and mask
With shawl and sanitizer
With sweets in the stocking
She brings to us all the hope
of taking off the mask
of throwing away the sanitizer
of smiling more than before
of the sun going up tomorrow

PS: If you’d like to know more about our unique Befana, just check it here