Sicily: Far from the Madding Crowd

December 12, 2011

It’s nice to be away from forced Yuletide cheer, piped-in Jingle Bell Rock, wild mobs in big-box stores, Santas tolling bells in your face, parking lot chaos.

Call me Scrooge if you will.

But a low-key Christmas is a welcome change.ย Sicilians in villages get festive by hand-painting Santa scenes on shop windows.

Painting Santa in Sicily, copyright Jann HuizengaOr by walking through darkness with light.

Candle-light procession at Christmas time in Sicily, copyright Jann HuizengaOr by hanging a few stars.

Christmas Decorations in Southeast SIcily, copyright Jann HuizengaIsn’t that enough? (Along with some fine food and a little bubbly?)

Take it easy this holiday and don’t forget the simple things.

Buone Feste!


My fellow blogger from Calabria speaks eloquently about this very topic.


Click to subscribe to BaroqueSicily.

28 comments to Sicily: Far from the Madding Crowd

  • Therese

    How fantastic! *sigh* What I would do to have a Xmas like that, there!

  • Charlie

    It’s enough for me too…

    Merry Christmas everyone.

  • Pina Marra

    Lovely pictures as usual! I think it’s time to rediscover the simple things…
    Buone Feste a te, Jann!

  • Sounds good to me. I’ve gone very minimalist when it comes to Christmas. But this year my mother has requested one last ‘big’ Christmas celebration in the family home. It’s been several years since there’s been one. Even so, it’s pretty modest by many standards. It’s more about the gathering than the getting. And the eating, drinking and making merry! I did enjoy wandering the city streets recently and seeing them all lit up with twinkling lights and bustling with happy shoppers. It felt festive.
    Buon Feste!

    • Jann

      Oh, how sweet, louciao. I hope you and yours have a wonderful gathering. Can’t wait to see more of your shots of happy shoppers or whatever they may be.

  • Charlie

    I think the Christmas madness or lack thereof is a cultural thing. The USA is a consumption oriented society while Sicily is probably not 2/3rds of the US economy is from consumer spending so the “buying frenzy” and Christmas madness is an attempt people to spend molto dollars! I would imagine that most Sicilians do not have deep pockets so their Christmas is less ostentatious and more “homey”, down to earth and “warmer”. Merry Christmas to all! Happy 2012. Jann, how about some midnight Mass photos if you can?

    • Jann

      Thanks, Charlie. Hmm. Let me see about that midnight mass… If I can stay up that late… the cathedral is right around the corner…

  • sandee wheeler

    I, too, agree, Jann. I haven’t been to the Mall once!! I don’t miss it. The Holidays are so fun because of the food and some family traditions! My daughter comes home from Raleigh on Thursday and we are getting ready to make our Dutch Banket for the Holidays! Yum Yum!

  • cemal karahan

    Merry Christmas to all believers……!

  • vicki carol

    Well, here I am again, first thing in the morning checking to see if there is mail from Sicily. Yay, there is. How I agree with all of you on the overdoneness of Christmas. If we bake a cake and it is overdone and burnt on the bottom we toss it out and start over. That is what Mom and I are doing. Of course we still buy a few presents for the little ones, but the big ones get a thought gift. We have been having fun doing other gift things. We lost my Dad to years ago yesterday and in his honor , we went to one of his favorite restaurants (breakfast)and gave $ to the owner to feed some of the homeless that come in. I can still hear my Dad say, “Make sure they get some meat”. He was such an honorable man and loved to give. It was something he did. I want the calmness that “Silent Night” talks about. You seem to have it all around you. Love the photos.Love Sicily.

  • Cathy

    Ahhh I would love a relatively quiet Christmas! However, my Santa-zilla of a husband goes waaaay over the top when it comes to gift shopping (of course, the kids love it!).. Now me, I’m all about the food!!

    Thanks for the link to the Bleeding Expresso blog, I loved her pictures of the village, and of course that is the area I am in now on my virtual ‘tour’! But I feel dumb — I am tired and for the life of me, cannot see where on the webpage I can subscribe to her blog? Can you help out this tired and obviously blind old Momma??

    • Cathy

      Found it… by accident, but found it nevertheless….. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Jann

      Wow, Cathy. That’s kind of a nice change to have a husband who goes all out for Christmas! In my experience they let Christmas (ie decorating, shopping, buying the tree, singing the songs, etc )fall to the wife.

  • Jann, I welcome and relish the simple traditions during the holidays. I hate the silly consumerism, the mobs at the stores, and the long lines wherever you go. How I wish I could join you in Sicily for good food, great dinner conversation, and plenty of bubbly! Happy Holidays, amica! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Jann

      Ciao Bella, I am sure you are the life of whatever party you attend. ๐Ÿ™‚ It would be fun to drink bubbly and talk about blogs!!

  • ~~~~I look forward to every one of your posts.
    My Heart Leaps when I see your name in my email…
    I love living vicariously thru your photos & adventures:))

    Have a wonderful Christmas, Dear Jann….

  • Larry

    Saw the banana carriers on sale at ASDA in Northen Ireland. Only GBP .49.

    • Jann

      Ha!!! That’s funny, Larry! Thanks for the news from Northern Ireland. ๐Ÿ™‚ Is that where you live or were you visiting?

  • Pat

    Have a lovely holiday, Janna … I’ll think of you and your (relative) solitude the next time I hear chestnuts blasting from loudspeakers!

    • Jann

      Hi Pat, I’m sure you’ll be cooking up something special for Christmas. Enjoy! As for the “chestnuts,” I bought a chestnut-roasting pan last Christmas, so after years of failing miserably at boiling them and cooking them in the oven, I’m finally doing it right.

  • I do agree! I loved the hand-painted Santa scene on the shop window. Who needs the crazy Christmas of the “modern” world, when you can have this? Nice food and wine and some peace and quiet away from it all. Buone Feste anche a te!

    • Jann

      Thanks for your comment, “Foreigner.” A decade ago in Sicily there were no shopping malls at all. Unfortunately they’re starting to be pop up–not that many, but still… I fear Sicily is moving in the direction of the “modern” world…

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