I have often been asked about the differences between Christmas in France and the United States. And certainly one word comes to mind immediately: calm. It is pretty quiet around here.
In France, nearly everyone has stopped working. Most salaried positions have a two-week holiday.
And so it was not much of a surprise to see a large crowd gathered at the Place du Forum to watch an old-fashioned family circus perform.
People of all ages clapped and cheered as a loopy old clown rang bells.
Others gossiped leisurely at the café across the street.
The streets were nearly empty. Last minute shoppers strolled arm in arm, popping in and out of the small local boutiques.
Only the hair salons were abuzz as everyone (including Remi and I) got a final brushup for les fêtes.
And now, it is time to cook. Remi has thoughtfully planned out what should be a wonderful dinner for two: scallops stuffed with foie gras and wrapped in bacon to start followed by turbot in a langoustine bisque.
Champagne is being chilled.
In France, it is less about the presents, so there is no frenzy or marathon wrapping sessions. Actually, we are just giving each other two presents this year, one big and one small, something which is just fine by me.
It is a gift in itself. Now it is time to exhale and be grateful for being here. For being.
"Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Let your heart be light
From now on,
Our troubles will be out of sight..."
We will be heading out tomorrow to spend Christmas with friends in Menton and then are heading up to the cottage in the Luberon for the end of the year. To rest. As always, the internet connection is touch and go there, so I am not sure if I will be posting or not.
So I will take this time to wish those that are celebrating a very Merry Christmas and to all...a Happy New Year! Thank you for being here...
With my Very Best Wishes from my family to yours,
Heather, Remi, Ben & Kipling