Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Reasons why I enjoy French Christmas

  1. The Santa Clauses hanging from people's balcony makes it look like there's a band of red and white cat burglars throughout the city.
  2. The Holidays lights - which are never taken down - are finally lit. They say such happy things like "Bienvenue rue des Postes" and "rue Gambetta".
  3. On the Friday before Christmas, shops close at 7pm but are exceptionally open on the Sunday from 10am to 5pm.
  4. Candied chestnuts. The most divine candied creation that ever existed is only available in December and January. The bakery sells bags of brisures (broken bits) for cheap.
  5. Trees! I know last year I talked about how Christmas used to make me feel uncomfortable but this year, we actually have a tree in our house which also serves as Hanukkah bush. It's really very pretty and smells nice.
  6. Liebkeuchen - German ginger bread cookies coated in chocolate and sometimes stuffed with apricot jam. They are common in Alsace and at LIDL, the cheap German supermarket.
  7. Not having to worry about political correctness to ruin the cheer. Everyone's happy. Everyone gives gifts. Everyone's on vacation. And there's a huge, very tacky ferris wheel in the middle of the main square.


Jon said...

Great post! I'll have to try candied chestnuts and Liebkeuchen; my knowledge of French Christmas food doesn't go much beyond foie gras and bière de Noël.

Amber said...

This is my first Christmas in Lille, and I agree with you about everything except the chestnuts! I just can't get used to the taste. Are the cat burglar santas a regional thing? I never saw those elsewhere in France.

Beth said...

Great list!! It's all true.
I'll also add a few items: Bûche de Noël, lovely champagne, smoked salmon and French Christmas chocolates! It's crazy how the stores feature shelf after shelf of fancy chocolates!!

And cat burglar Santas? They have taken over the whole country. They are EVERYWHERE!

Merry Holidays to you and yours, Reb! Have a lovely day!

La Framéricaine said...

The cat burglar Santa Claus is ubiquitous in the Yucatán Peninsula, too. Man, that guy gets around!

Wonderful post!

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