Well the festive season is now in full swing in France – in my little village of 150 people there are no grand illuminations, just a few twinkling lights in windows here and there. The main concession to the time of year is that somebody has wound a string of lights in a tree outside the town hall. The first hard gust of wind will probably see it off.
Here in the north of France it has been unseasonably warm. No snow and hardly even any frost which has made my chickens, ducks and geese think that it isn’t winter at all. They are all trying to nest and are larking about as it if were spring. It’s most unusual and in the ten years I’ve had a home in France, I can’t remember it being quite like this. I don’t know what the southerners will make of it, they like to call this area “the French North Pole” but it certainly doesn’t feel that way right now.
Christmas for me is a time to spend with my family and friends and with my 6 cats – Loulou, Shadow, ’Enry Cooper, Ginger Roger, Hank Marvin He’s Always Starvin’ and Winston, my 3 dogs Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Bruno and Churchill. I’ll also be feeding my regular stray cats One Ear and Little Socks and taking treats to my bird pens where they are all rather spoiled winged pets.
In my first year here I walked round and posted Christmas cards to my neighbours – to their bemusement, they don’t really do it in this part of France. I’ve learned instead that they much prefer you to knock on the door, wish them a Merry Christmas in person and perhaps enjoy a glass of wine or a cup of hot chocolate, a tradition I have learned to love!
Where ever you, whatever you have planned, I wish you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Joyeux Noël, I hope you have fun and a chance to relax and enjoy this time of the year,
From my little corner of France
With very best wishes
ps I’ve put together 20 beautiful images that show the magic of Christmas in France – the next best thing to being here, guaranteed to make you feel Christmassy!