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Buon Natale: La Vigilia- Southwestern style

  • This location is shown only to members

  • Price: $25.00 /per person

    Refund policy

  • "Sette Pesce?"  "Dodici Pesce?" We will have to wait and see.

    STILL expected to be the largest indoor Christmas display in Las Cruces!

    Be sure to bring some tupper-ware to take home leftovers.

                    In Italian "Buon Natale" (literally, the good birth) means Merry Christmas

         Our Member - Mary R. will open her elaborately decorated home as host (again) this year. Probably the most highly decorated "inside home" Christmas display in Las Cruces!

         PICK A DISH TO MAKE AND BRING OR PAY $25. Money to be collected 2 weeks before event. Refund if you cancel within 6 days of event, else show up with a bucket and take your share of the food. Members' guests also pay $25. Be sure to bring some tupper-ware to take home leftovers.


A popular tradition amongst southern Italians and Italian-Americans is the Christmas eve dinner known as "La Vigilia" (the vigil for birth of our Lord) or "Notte di Sette Pesce" ( Seh-Tay-Pesh-Aye) (night of seven fishes). This is a feast of a fish dinner comprised of at least as many varieties of fish. In some areas of Italy, it can be as few as 3 (for the Trinity) or as many as 12 (after the number of Apostles). The number will always have a religious significance.  


Maria will distribute a menu of recipes to those who request, and it will be the responsibility of members to prepare one recipe with enough food for several other people. Everyone gets to taste everything. If you will not bring a dish, you must pay $25 two weeks prior to this event. Any member who spends more than $25 on ingredients will be reimbursed. 

         Here are some ideas are (or bring your own traditional family fish dish) and Members who have committed to prepare and bring such.

    This year's menu (so far):

    Aragoste e Gamberetti con Spaghetti Russo (Lobster-Shrimp red sauce with pasta) - Al

    Grilled Trout with Portobello mushrooms and Polenta  (Eileen)

    Torta Granchi  (Crab Cakes -  some Sweet AND some Spicey)  (Linda & Howard)

    Galeffi effervescent after dinner digestivo (formerly known as "Brioschi") (Al)

    Amaro Siciliano Digestivo  (Al)   Learn about Digestivo here:

    Panetonne (learn more about it here: Panettone (Al)

    Biscotti cookies ( Al  )

    San Pellegrino (Italian Selzer) (Al)

    Zeffiro's Italian Bread (Mary)

    Antipasto with fish accents (Chris)

    We could also use:

    Baccala (battered & fried Cod - or buy already breaded at Sam's)

    Gamberetti Freddo e Caldo (Cold shrimp with sauce and hot breaded shrimp with lemon wedges)

    Zuppe Di Pesce (Seafood Soup/Stew)

    Frutte Di Mare (Fruit Of The Sea) as a a cold fish salad appetizer It is a mix of baby shrimp, baby Octopus legs, Calamari (Squid), Mussels, Clams (and more) in an Olive Oil based Garlic Sauce with other herbs. Sam's Club has frozen bags of mixed fish for Paella around the holidays that you can use. Sample  recipe link:   Frutti Di Mare 

    Insalata di Sardine Affumicate (Pastene brand Sardines cold salad with onions, capers & eggs)

    Green Vegetables or Salad (plain & simple - as a palate cleanser and for good health)

    Wine (Red & White)

    Bevanda Gassata Limone (Sprite & Coca Cola) 

    Dessert: Spuma Di Cioccolata or Zabaione (     )                                                                                 Gelato (sold at Target and Albertsons)  (   )
                        Tiramisu (frozen in some stores)


    Finocchio Al'Olio (Fennel, spices and Virgin Olive Oil) -

    Zuppa Granchi con Crema (Cream Of Crab Soup)

    Pesce di Mandorla  (Almond encrusted Tilapia)

    Claims Oreganata (baked)

    Salsa Pasta di Sarde

    Cerchi di Samone (Stuffed Salmon Wheels )

    Pizza Grana (Sweet Grain Pie - quite a challenge)

    Getting fresh fish is a challenge here in Las Cruces, but it IS possible the closer we get to Christmas. 

                                                                           Christmas Gift Exchange

    We will be doing a Christmas Gift Exchange at this party. We did this last year and it was so much fun.

    If you would like to join in please bring a “non gender” wrapped gift, per person, for no more than $10.00 of value (each gift) if you want to partake. Bring a Gift, get a Gift.

    There will be caroling, of course!

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9 going

7 spots available

RSVPs close: Dec 16 at 6:00 AM

  • Mary Celeste R.
    Event Host

    Mary Celeste Reynolds

  • Al Chance Services LLC, Al C. +1
    Let's hear YOUR ideas!, Organizer

    Al Cella: I use a classic Italian pronunciation for my last name (CHE' lah). I have been a... more

  • Linda A. G. +1
    Linda & Howard

    I'm Linda Grayless, a resident of Las Cruces for over 31 years. An "empty nester"... more

  • Tony V. +1
  • Eileen T.

    Relocated here 2011 from NYC.So happy to have found this is a treasure.

3 not going

(See all)
  • Gabriel F.

    Gabriel Fusco - Very Old Italian. Married to the same woman for 50 years.... more

  • Maria C.

    I love cooking italian food and listening to italian favorites. One of my hobbies... more

Your organizer's refund policy for Buon Natale: La Vigilia- Southwestern style

Refunds offered if:

  • the Meetup is cancelled
  • the Meetup is rescheduled
  • you can cancel at least 4 day(s) before the Meetup

Payments you make go to the organizer, not to Meetup. You must make refund requests to the organizer.

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