Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook, stirring, until they are soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the Italian seasoning and cook for 1 minute. Add the rest of the ingredients, cover loosely and simmer for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
For dessert, have a platter of your favorite holiday cookies and candy along with Dark and Spicy Ginger Bread served with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. The spicy flavor is achieved mainly by the fresh black pepper. If you prefer it to be a bit mellower, reduce the black pepper to one-fourth or one-half teaspoon.