I have been running around in ever decreasing circles trying to make time to do a bit of blogging. In theory I should have loads of time, but finishing off bits of work, organising Christmas stuff, battling with the weather and dealing with leaky pipes this is the first chance that I have had.
I have potentially loads of things I can blog about but before I get started I thought I would write a thing about a French Christmas.
Christmas in France is a very different affair to an English Christmas. The holiday is shorter for a start (the French don’t have Boxing day) and has a stronger focus on the family. In some ways a French Christmas is similar to a Scottish Christmas, as like the Scots the French party on New Years Eve or Revillion St Sylvestre where even the village parties will as a norm finish at the debut du aube (dawn) with onion soup a traditional restorative and they will traditionally have a quieter Christmas.
In England Christmas starts early, I saw my first adverts for Christmas in a hotel in August! I kid you not. In France Christmas at least waits until December.
In England there is a frenzy of present buying, sometimes I think in the hope that people will remember that we love or care about them even if we struggle to show that fact for the rest of the year.
In England there is a round of office parties, but not in France (if I want to go for lunch with you I’ll ask you some other time).
In England there are little moppets in Nativity plays, in France nothing. French schools don’t do religion, no nativity, no carols, no assembly and no Christmas cards. The French do send New Year Cards but only to friends or relatives that they don’t see over the season.
The school children do have a decent Christmas dinner, Aiden and Cynan (my children) when they where at college in Montresor aged 11 – 15 would sit down for a 7 course Christmas dinner that could include snails in pastry, foie gras, duck and of course Buche Noel.
Essentially a French Christmas is about family and about food (and wine). There is no standard formula for Christmas dinner though oysters, foie gras and buche noel will often be eaten. Aiden’s girlfriend will be sitting down to donkey cooked in brioche. Don’t worry I am getting the name of the butcher so I can get some as well. I’ll be blogging about our frugal gourmet feast in due course.
If you aren’t into cooking or simply decide that you have better things to do on Christmas day or the New Year than cook, the supermarkets will take care of you through their traiteur service that offers a bewildering array of festive food and wine at keen prices, have a look at this link here to see what our supermarket offers. I think Tesco’s and Sainsburys will have to up their game to compete.
That’s it, a few musings on a French Christmas, frugal because to my eye a French Christmas is not so over the top as an English Christmas and gourmet as the French love their food and will be enjoying the best food and wine that they can afford.