THE 2019 “PRANZO DI NATALE” (The 2019 Xmas Brunch)


Cari Amici, Dear Friends,

Won’t you join us for our yearly Pranzo di Natale at La Cumbre Country Club?

It is a perfect way to celebrate this special time of the year as, once again, we will enjoy a fabulous Pranzo di Natale, a Xmas Buffet Brunch, that is well-known in our Community for its excellence.

It is ICHF’s special Holiday event designed to celebrate the Season, to bring our Circolo Italiano’s members together, to savor a superb selection of exquisite foods, cold and warm, and of delicious desserts while sipping champagne or, if you prefer, Mimosas.

How much better can it get?

Here are the details:

Sunday, December 15th, 2019
12:00 Noon
La Cumbre Country Club,
4015 Via Laguna, Santa Barbara

Cost: $55.00
per person (all included)

 La Cumbre CC’s Dress Code:

 Reservations are required and payment must be enclosed with your reservation.

Deadline for Reservations:

Questions?  Feel free to call me at 805-969-1018 or, even better,
e-mail me at

We thought you would be interested in a short article describing some of the Italian Holiday traditions.  We found one, The Best New Year’s Traditions in Italy, and here it is.  Please look for it after the Reserve/Pay section.

Buone Feste from all of us at ICHF/Circolo Italiano! 




By check.  Please click on this link for a downloadable, printable RSVP form and follow directions.

By credit card.  Please click on the yellow PayPal button and follow directions:


(or so they say…)

New Year’s in Italy is a holiday filled with traditions… and more than a little of superstition.
Do you think you could use some luck in the new year? You can try to do what some Italians do…. after all, it might be fun!

First banish past bad luck—and old pans—Italian-style

Traditionally, here’s how Italians, particularly in southern Italy, have launched their celebrations on New Year’s Eve: by throwing old pots, pans, clothes, appliances, even furniture out of the window. Really! It’s meant to symbolize “letting go” of past unhappiness to prepare yourself for the future. Although most Italians have abandoned this tradition, do watch your head on the streets of Naples on New Year’s Eve!

Then fire up the ol’ Yule Log one last time

Another tradition is to fire up the Christmas log on the last day of the year. Turns out, evil spirits don’t like fire! It’s also a gesture of invitation to the Virgin Mary, who can warm newborn Jesus next to the warm flames. Afterwards, according to tradition, families would use the ashes as charms to protect the house from damage.

Also do not forget to wear red undies for New Year’s to bring good luck 

Yep, that’s right: Red underwear brings luck. This goes for men and women. So that explains why you see all the red underthings hanging in shop windows at this time of the year!

Do not forget to eat the right dishes for a wealthy New Year 


In Italy, a traditional New Year’s Eve meal is all about symbolizing abundance. After all, that’s what we’re all hoping the new year will bring about! In Piedmont, rice represents coins—so traditional dinner is risotto in bianco (white risotto). Elsewhere in Italy, lots of dishes feature lentils (which symbolize wealth) and raisins (for good luck).

One particularly popular dish is lentils served up with cotechino, a big pork sausage that’s boiled over low heat for about four hours before serving. Although the cotechino from Modena is a legally-protected product, it’s also traditional to Lombardy, Molise, Trentino and Veneto. You might also see zampone, sausage that comes in a hollowed-out pig’s trotter. When either one is sliced, the pieces look like coins… so this too, is meant to bring wealth in the new year!

Give treats to make the New Year sweet

To ensure a sweet new year, ancient Romans gave each other jars of dates and figs in honey, along with a bay branch for good fortune. Guess what? This hasn’t changed much, at least in Naples, where people exchange figs wrapped in laurel leaves.

Watch out for home-made fireworks to prevent bad luck…

Fireworks and lots of noise also “scare” the “evil spirits” away. So you can expect lots of fireworks on New Year’s Eve with the accompanying loud noises! Practically every city, and many of Italy’s towns, put on a dazzling display of them. And this is good, lucky fun. But….
On a warning note, if you happen to visit Italy for New Year’s, be aware that families and groups of friends will often host their own firework “shows”, or simply throw firecrackers around.
So watch out!