I know, Christmas is months away, but I'd like to hear about any traditions in your country or in your family about the fellow who leaves presents at Christmas time.

In the US, most people would say he's called Santa Claus, he's fat, has a beard, and wears a red suit, and drives a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer.

At our house, he comes on Christmas Eve after the children are in bed, and leaves presents in our stockings (which are specifically for this purpose, not our regular socks, because they are far too small), but not under the Christmas tree. Gifts the family exchange with each other go under the tree.

What about you?
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Oh GG , here they say that man, I mean Santa, is fromTurkey.Emotion: big smile We don't have any special celebrating here. It has nothing to do with religion as most of the people think. But, nowadays we celebrate the New Year as you do. Emotion: smile
As a child, I was told that it was Baby Jesus the one who had left presents for me during the night. My brother and I would wake up and find the gifts close to the [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nativity_scene ] 'presepio' (crib/chreche)[/url]. In my family, there was no Christmas tree, nor any Santa Claus ('Father Christmas' and 'Pere Noel' would be literal translations of its Italian name, 'Babbo Natale'), and we received only one, or very few, small gifts.

We were given more and better presents on the 6th of January, as a reminder of the day baby Jesus was given gold, incense and myrrh by the Three Kings. We were told that they had been left by a ugly, but sweet old woman who carries her presents by riding a broomstick. Her name is 'Befana', which is a corruption of the word [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epiphany_%28Christian%29 ]'Epiphany'[/url]. She gives presents only to good kids, so, if you're being naughty, the only thing you will get is a sock full of coal.

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DollOh GG , here they say that man, I mean Santa, is fromTurkey.Emotion: big smile We don't have any special celebrating here. It has nothing to do with religion as most of the people think. But, nowadays we celebrate the New Year as you do. Emotion: smile
exactly, we are looking at the clock, till it's 12 am , then we say congratulation to every one around for the New Year ..
Grammar GeekIn the US, most people would say he's called Santa Claus, he's fat, has a beard, and wears a red suit, and drives a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer.

At our house, he comes on Christmas Eve after the children are in bed, and leaves presents in our stockings (which are specifically for this purpose, not our regular socks, because they are far too small), but not under the Christmas tree. Gifts the family exchange with each other go under the tree.
LOL, GG, are you looking forward to going shopping? Looking forward to buying tons of gifts? Come on, Christmas is too far way! Emotion: wink

Ok, look at what you wrote about Cristmas. Everything here (at my place) is the same, apart from the parts in Red. Here he's "Babbo Natale" (= Daddy Christmas), and gifts go under the tree. But there are a lot of regional and cultural differences in Italy... so, as you can read in Tanit's post, in her region the situation is pretty different. Befana comes here too, by the way, on January 6th. Where my sister lives (not far from here, but it's another region), there's no Babbo Natale (= Daddy Christmas) on the 25th, but there's a guy named exactly "Santa Claus" that brings gift on another day (not sure which day it is, but it's before December 25th).
Interesting, isn't it? Emotion: wink
No, I just thought it would be a nice friendly topic and people could share traditions.

How do you say "Babbo Natale"? I like the Ephiany witch! Epiphany isn't a big day in the US at all - but I don't like to take down my Christmas tree until at least then.
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Grammar GeekHow do you say "Babbo Natale"?

What do you mean? How it's pronounced? If so, then... well, it's difficult to explain. Let's say you could say it this way, sounding American: Bob-boh not-ah-leh, where bob is bah-b and not is nah-t. Well, it's pronounced the way it's written, like all Italian words. Emotion: smile
Kooyeenbut there's a guy named exactly "Santa Claus" that brings gift on another day (not sure which day it is, but it's before December 25th).

I didn't know that Santa Claus comes even in Italy Emotion: surprise in what Region, precisely?

Here in South Tuscany we have Babbo Natale, who comes in the night between 24th and 25th December and brings gifts, while the Befana brings only the good children sweets, chocolate and cakes. I'm not particularly good but I've always received sweets Emotion: big smile

Father Christmas comes during the night of the 24th December in Britain, and leaves small presents in special Christmas stockings on the end of children's beds for them to open when they wake up on Christmas Day. We call the whole of 24th December Christmas Eve - not just the evening. Similarly, we call the whole of 31st December New Year's Eve. We decorate our houses and streets with lights, paper and tinsel decorations and Christmas trees.

The 24 days leading up to Christmas are called Advent, and children have cardboard calendars with little doors to open, one a day, sometimes with a chocolate behind each door. In churches, the four Sundays leading up to Christmas are celebrated by lighting a special candle display - called the Advent crown, or Advent wreath.

We also have a holiday on 26th December called Boxing Day. Nothing to do with boxing gloves. It's traditionally the day when servants would get a day off after Christmas to visit their families, and would be given a box of foods and small gifts. When I was a child, we would still sometimes call a tip given to tradesmen - particularly the dustmen - around Christmas time a Christmas box, but I haven't heard this for years. If you give a box of food and other edible treats to someone for Christmas, it's usually called a Christmas hamper.

We don't celebrate 6th January, other than it being the day by which we are supposed to take the Christmas decorations down.
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