Awaken To French Presents After Christmas

Bonjour mes ami,

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas Day, no doubt still feeling the effects of much socialising, abundant food and perhaps alcohol. Did you know that many French families have Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve?

This family dinner is called ‘le reveillon’ and will generally last for a long time that evening, drinking champagne or kir royale until the wee hours. (reveillon means “waking” by the way!) A similar feast applies at New Years Eve with more friends involved.

The day after Christmas in France is St Etienne’s Day (known as St Stephens day elsewhere) and is actually declared a bank holiday in the Alsace-Lorraine region, but not anywhere else I’m afraid.

In Paris, things do quieten down as there are quite a few restaurants and other establishments closed over the Christmas period until the New Year. So, in the post Christmas Paris days, you can reacquaint yourself with a museum (check opening) or the cemeteries, a circus, a movie, a musical, the Aquarium or Centre Pompidou, the Opera or Ballet and even the Moulin Rouge offer entertaining shows at this rather quiet time.

You may like to go to http://ticketac.com to obtain tickets to many French shows.

 To see if places are open or closed over the Christmas period, there is a very good website found at www.parisgratuit.com which you may find very useful if you’re in Paris Christmas Day and beyond. 

 You can always walk the Champs Elysee to ogle at the magnificent avenue of Christmas lights extroadinaire or try your ice skating skills at the rink outside the Hotel de ville (but not on a Saturday or Sunday) . Or if you don’t feel like expending that amount of energy, you can see the magnificent ice sculptures in the gardens off the Champs Elysee. While you’re down that way, the Christmas Markets will still be brimming with people and sparkle.

 I wanted to show you all a few of my own french Christmas presents from beautiful friends and family members who understand the francophile within.

A girl can’t get enough bubbles and I was so lucky to receive a bottle of vintage Moet from my beautiful brother. 

 

Now take a look at these divine chocolate EUROS which are such a treat in their own cute little purses. I wonder if  Santa has a good exchange rate?

 And who can say no to smoked almonds? Eaten whole or used as a topping for French Toast at breakfast time the day after Christmas.

Writing thankyou cards and invitations to friends on french style black flocked stationery with the initial ‘T’ is special and something I will use for months to come. Great decoration to any desk as well. A beautiful gift my friend, thankyou.

And when all is said and done, and the guests have gone and you’re lying down, the little lavender filled heat pack for weary eyes can be used to guarantee some rest. For a while at least….

..until New Year celebrations. Try and catch the light shows at the Eiffel Tower this year which is celebrating its 120th anniversary. It’s going to be a spectacular event.

 Now there’s a present to wake up to!

Au revoir,

Best Wishes, Therese Waddell

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