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Italian Christmas Crafts

Italian Christmas CraftsItalian Christmas decorations are common in Italy yet very low-key in other parts of the world. Being the home of the Pope, this would probably explain why Christmas celebrations are more of a religious more than a secular or celebratory affair in Italy. Even their Christmas decorations are testimony to these.

Italian Christmas crafts emerged as a result of a great need to communicate. Living with around many illiterate people, Saint Francis saw the need to recreate the story of Christ in a way that people could understand. The best way was to tell through visual craft. Since the thirteenth century, this kind of craft known as nativity craft has become a key Christmas symbol. The core symbol of Italian Christmas crafts is definitely the cribs. The decorations include Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus. This piece of artwork also has the three wise men, a manger, small trees, lakes, lights and angels looking down from heaven. These cribs are mostly kept in churches and houses. During the Christmas season, different churches compete to bring out the most creative and beautiful artistry.

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A ‘Ceppo’ also known as the ‘The Tree of Light’ is the other very important craft used for Italian Christmas decoration. Made of wood, this pyramid-shaped decoration usually has three to five shelves. The ceppo is used as a place to keep gifts like fruits and candles. A star angel or pineapple is usually placed on top of the ceppo to symbolize hospitality. As part of Christmas decorations the Italian way, a small nativity may be placed at the bottom of a ceppo to show that that is a gift from God. Usually ribbons and ornaments are used to decorate the frames of the ceppo. Lit candles are also placed in the outer shelves. This is why the ceppo is also referred to as ‘The Tree of Light’.

Just like other people, Italians incorporate the Christmas tree in their decorations. These trees are usually decorated with an Italian blessing message, Santa or ornaments made of different colors. Other Italian Christmas crafts include the Christmas wreath, Italian Santa figurines, and a pre-lit Christmas topiary and shepherd angel with a lamb.

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