Let’s discover together this holiday, its origins and traditions.
In Italy, we have mixed Christmas traditions: partly bound to Christian religion, partly bound to folkloric rites.

Christmas Symbols and Traditions in Italy

The main symbols of Christmas in Italy, no doubt, are Cristmas tree and nativity scene.
It is custom to dress Christmas tree on December 8th, on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, and to undress it on January 6th, on Epiphany day.
This symbol is used in most of Christmas traditions, unlike nativity scene, that is an Italian tradition.
The first nativity scene is attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi, who made a living one in 1223, after he had visited the Holy Land and Jesus’s traditional birthplace. In Italy it is often considered as more important than Christmas tree: some people even create their own nativity scene by hand. Somebody else just rely on the several handicraft shops handing down their art from father to son. Here in Naples, you can find this kind of shop in San Gregorio Armeno, a whole street downtown, dedicated  to this Christmas symbol.
Among the symbols of Christmas, we also have poinsettia, holly, and mistletoe.
In Alto Adige, there are Christmas local street markets, and they use to have parades and open gifts on Saint Nicholas’ day.
In most of Italian regions, it is custom to spend Christmas with family. On Christmas Eve we gather for supper and wait midnight to open gifts or to go to Mass (otherwise, you can also hear Mass on 25th morning). On Christmas day we use to have a family banquet at lunchtime, and we often spend the afternoon by playing typical Christmas games, like bingo, and eating typical Christmas desserts, like panettoni, pandori, rococo, etc.
On Saint Stephen’s day we often just have Christmas leftovers.

Christmas Traditions Around the World

Christmas in Germany: here is Saint Nicholas who, during the night among December 5th and 6th, brings the gifts to good children. In some parts of Germany and Austria, they have Knecht Ruprecht, a sort of companion of Saint Nicholas, who beats misbehaving children with his bag of ashes.
Christmas in Netherlands: they have Saint Nicholas here too. According to Dutch tradition, he lives in Madrid, Spain, and every year he chooses a different harbour to arrive in Holland with a boat full with gifts, that he will give to children on December 6th.
In Netherlands, as well as Alto adige, Germany and Austria, they also have Krampus, a beast-like creatures who accompany Saint Nicholas to punish children who have misbehaved.
Christmas in Russia: here they have “Ded Moroz” (literally, Old Man Frost) instead of Santa. He gets on a sleigh drawn by three horses, and brings gifts to children.
Christmas in North America: in the States they use to pay a special attention to Christmas decorations outside the houses. They also use to ice-skating and sing Christmas Carols with family and friends.
Christmas in Australia and New Zealand: even though December 25th in southern hemisphere is the peak of summer season, it still is Christmas day… So, do not be surprised if you ran into Santa Claus on a surfboard!