Strega Nons (Grandmother Witch) is back, with a fine read-aloud for the holidays that also gives some details of Italian Christmas customs. She's busy getting her annual Christmas Eve feast ready for her Calabrian neighbors, preparing such traditional Italian dishes as baccala, decking the house with lemon blossoms and periwinkle. Her reluctant assistant, Big Anthony, would like to use magic to make the many tasks easier, but Strega Nons admonishes "No magic at Christmas." Anthony listens better than he lets on; using his apparent laziness as cover, he "forgets" to bring Strega Nons the food he's sent for, meanwhile organizing a surprise feast for her. Strega Nona is delighted, especially because Big Anthony has learned that "Christmas has a magic of its own." As usual, dePaola's cheerful, color-filled pictures add humor to the story.