Christmas in Italy with Lisa, Marketing + PR

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What does Christmas mean to you? We asked a few of our favourite Zanuians from around the globe. Travel to Italy with Lisa and experience her traditional white Christmas, complete with fave Christmas recipes + gift picks.

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This year to celebrate the silly season, we’re paying homage to the many ways Christmas translates around the globe. We started our journey in outback Australia with Kyra’s Deutsch-Australian Christmas… Now we’re headed direct to Europe to enjoy some Italian decadence.

Meet our Marketing + PR Coordinator, Lisa. This is her Christmas

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Lisa and her brother on Christmas Day (left) and the Christmas feast laid out (right)!

Christmas is:

Family, food, presents, snow, and an open fire.

In Italy, we celebrate with super long-lasting meals all together with our families. Some celebrate on Christmas Eve, some on Christmas Day at lunch and some in the evening.

Actually most of the ones that celebrate the 25th at lunch, they have such a long lunch that it basically lasts through dinner!

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The Italian Alps at Christmas. Images sourced L to R: ruralitaly.co.uk and triporati.com

Personally, I’ve spent ALL my Christmases in the same way – we are VERY traditional. We usually go to our vacation home in the mountains, just 40 minutes from my hometown, for a couple of weeks.

My grandparents also have a house there – as do many others that live in my city – so we all spend time together.

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Lisa’s crew complete with paper crowns about to eat and in the midst of gift-giving!

Christmas dinner in Italy

Every region of Italy has its own traditional food. But there are some desserts that are common in the entire country – and also abroad – that are really typical of Christmas, like Pandoro and Panettone.

I’m not a huge fun of these – I prefer a dessert typical of my region, and this is Gubana. SO GOOD! (Gubana is a sweet-stuffed spiral – a cross between a bread and a cake, associated with the city of Cividale del Friuli. Martha Stewart teaches you how to bake this amazing dessert here.)

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Lisa’s fave dessert – Gubana. Images sourced L to R: annabel-langbein.com and babbonyc.com

Gift-giving is a thing

Our family sit down on Christmas Day after lunch, around 4pm(!), around the fireplace with all the presents on the floor and we open them one by one for the next few hours – having tea or fruit in the meanwhile.

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From L to R: Campfire Graphics Vintage Christmas Birdy Tree Wall Decal, the Maxwell & Williams Christmas Carnival range, and Campfire Graphics Dancing Christmas Bear Wall Decal, available online at Zanui.

Fave festive celebration?

I can’t pick one, there are so many! Christmas lights around the cities, Christmas carols… People are more relaxed and happy. The festive mood is in the air and it basically lasts for a whole month.

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Italian city Christmas lights. Images sourced L to R: zenithholidays.co.uk and pinterest.com

But maybe my favourite thing about Christmas is being in the mountains and snowboarding every morning for 2 weeks! 🙂

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Lisa in her fave festive pursuit – snowboarding and lights in Florence (sourced: pinterest.com)

Hot tip for surviving Christmas

Plan in advance all the presents you want to buy. Otherwise the last few days are a nightmare. No parking around the city, overcrowded shops, the item you wanted is out of stock and just the wrong size or the most expensive version is left!!

Also, always make sure you can return the item you are buying and keep the receipt!

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Send a gift voucher to fam + friends further away, available online at Zanui here.

Lisa’s gift picks

For women: The Christmas 2015 Madison Jar Candle in Sweet Fruits & Pink Champagne from Ecoya. It just works for every woman, it’s affordable and the smell is divine.

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The Christmas 2015 Madison Jar Candle in Sweet Fruits & Pink Champagne from Ecoya, available online at Zanui.

For men: The Manhattan Bib Apron from Chef Works so they can enjoy cooking sausages on the barbie without making a paint on their t-shirts.

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The Manhattan Bib Apron from Chef Works, available online at Zanui.

For your little ones: The Learning Tower from… The Learning Tower! Just perfect for girls and boys who want to be involved with all the festive cheer.

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The Learning Tower available online at Zanui.

Thanks, Lisa!

Looking for more gift inspiration? See here for gifts for him, her, Mum, Dad, teens, kids and more. Or opt for a gift voucher for those tricky people.

Merry Christmas! 🙂

Kay is a feature, blog and copywriter. She collects empty jam jars, academic degrees and tawdry dreams in the hopes of turning them into something useful someday. Her work has been published in ACP magazines, ABC fiction, Overland, Brittle Star, Seizure, trade publications and online forums. Her creative writing has won several awards.