Christmas in Italy vs. America- let me go over some of the key features that we would find novelties and eccentricities back home.
Italian children are traditionally brought their gifts not by Babo Natale (Father Christmas), but La Befana- a benevolent witch that brings presents not on Christmas, but on Jan. 6th, when the wise men arrived. Italian Christmas dinners are characterized by eating 7 different kinds of fish (usually including eel), and one of the two famous Christmas cakes: Pandoro and Panetone. Pandoro is like angle food cake, covered in powered sugar. Panetone is like pandoro with pieces of dried fruit and nuts inside.
Every city makes reenactment nativity scenes and has unique celebrations. Naples, for example, is well known for their sculpted nativity scenes that are very intricate and expansive.
However, my family did not participate in these activities- instead, we just had pizza at a nearby restaurant and got ready for tomorrow.