At the end of November usually people start planning Christmas grocery shopping.
It is a really serious business, every year the italians spend a lot of money, time and energy to choose the best food, plan several meals, and prepare them. The list includes: la cena della Vigilia, (‘Christmas Eve dinner’), il pranzo e la cena di Natale (‘Christmas lunch and Dinner’), l’ultimo dell’anno (New years Eve), Capodanno (January 1st) and l’Epifania (January 7th). Normally for each event the entire family meets, each lunch or dinner includes at least 3-4 courses, and great organization skills.
It’s a huge amount of food, and a big deal.
So people start planning and preparing everything in advance.
Starting from la grande spesa di Natale (‘the big grocery shopping’).
Step one: you want to choose the best grocery store, a good balance between good quality and good prices.
Step two: buying non-perishable goods.
Normally this includes sweets, such as
torrone (‘almond or hazelnut nougat’)
Ricciarelli (almonds cookies)
and dozens of Panettoni and Pandori the two typical Christmas cakes
carefully considering how many you will need for you and your family and how many you will give to your friends and family as a gift.