The Italians are very open about celebrating Christ's birth which makes this time of year so amazing. It seems everywhere you turn there are true reminders of the real reason for this season.
Only about 7 klicks from our home is this beautiful village called Poffabro. This little village is built on a hillside, which means the buildings are all on a slope. There're also these great narrow streets that wind up and down throughout the village with breathtaking views of the Dolomites. It's clear that the buildings are centuries old, as the homes are built right on top of one another complete with a family barn and livestock. The buildings are also constructed with gorgeous iron and stonework.
We went to Poffabro to take in a semi-famous tradition in the fruili region - "The Nativity Scenes" or "Presepe fra i Presepe" For most Americans, Christmas and New Year's comes and goes, but for Italians the holiday season lasts a bit longer. As they celebrate the season of Advent and Epiphany this quaint little village's goal and tradition each year is to stuff as many nativity scenes as they can in every nook and cranny of the town. The Nativity Scenes are all different sizes ranging from tiny to life-sized. They're made from just about everything you could imagine; pasta, corn, etc... My favorite was the one made of wine jugs or demi johns-(That's what local Italians store their wine in.). These Nativity scenes also range from the very simple to the incredibly ornate with lights, running water, and music. It was beautiful to see the love and respect this village has for the true meaning of Christmas. There wasn't one Santa in sight! If you're in Italy, this event goes on until January 13. You should definitely check it out before you leave.
She was so proud and excited. It seems for kindergarteners it's a right of passage. She spent the whole day wiggling it until it finally came out. Trust me by the end of the day we were all thinking of ways to knock it out. In the end she got the last laugh. Due to her diligence and our lack of preparedness she ended up with 10 bucks from the Tooth Fairy.
As per Hailey: "She is now an official 6 year old!"
As per Tom: "A very smart 6 year old who now has 10 bucks burning a whole in her pocket!"
With each New Year comes new ideas. It seems we(military families) are always looking for new ways to stay in touch with our loved ones from all around the world. So far I've relied on myspace, but it seems so many of my family and friends are either having a hard time accessing my page or they just don't like the whole myspace thing. So this year we've decided to transition into the blog world. We're going to try and blog our journeys instead of using myspace. I say "we" because I plan to get the whole family involved. The girls have become very computer savvy and I would love for you to hear their voices as well. So stay tunned! In the future this is where you'll find the monthly, weekly, or even daily musings of the Giles 5. Blessings! Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!