Noël en France (Christmas in France)

Hello there, I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas!

It was very strange not being home this year to partake in all my usual Christmas traditions. I must admit that when I woke up yesterday, it didn’t really feel like Christmas morning at all. However, I would say it was a good day all the same. It was very interesting to see how other people celebrate and in my host family, the base is fairly similar to what we do at home. That is to say that there is a big meal with the family, presents and of course way too  many goodies to eat and I still have absolutely no will power when it comes to chocolate (Thanks Marie for the huge bag of peanut m&ms 🙂

The towns that I have been to in the past month (Saumur, Angers, Nantes) have all been beautifully decorated and all three had outdoor Christmas markets. I was very happy to see that the malls are filled with lights, trees, and Santas as well, although the Santas walk around and give out candy instead of sitting in a chair and taking pictures, which was different. Anyway, there is just something about Christmas decorations that make the town come to life, and it puts me in a good mood every time I see them!

Nantes

Saumur

Angers

(Yum!) ^

Yes I acted like a major tourist to take these pictures :p

I was a little disappointed by the fact that I could count on one hand the number of houses I saw with lights and wreaths. Apparently decorating the house, apart from the tree, is not big over here and neither is Christmas caroling (which doesn’t even exist).  Something else that I missed was the Christmas music that can be heard all around town and on all the radio stations at home. However, something I have learned in the past four months is that things are only going to be as good as you make them and having a positive attitude always helps. So with some help from youtube,Marie and I decorated two trees jamming out to some Christmas tunes. It was also really nice to have a real tree!

“My House”

Grandma’s house

As for the big Christmas meal, we had a pretty good menu.

For the hors d’oeuvre there was smoked salmon and foi gras (duck liver). Foi gras is really popular here and is something eaten on special occasions. I did taste it but I can’t say I’m really looking forward to eating it again.

For the main dish we had turkey, potatoes and some sort of vegetable (not exactly sure what the name is)

After the main dish we had a salad complete with melted “chevre” (goat cheese) which is one of my favorite types of cheese!

And for dessert there was “Un forêt noir” which is a layer cake made with dark chocolate, cream, pineapples and cherries. (It was delicious)

After the meal Marie and I finished out the day by watching a feel good movie. We watched 500 Days of Summer which isn’t a Christmas movie but I thought it was really good anyway.

Well, I’d say I had a fairly delightful Christmas.

I hope you all enjoy the rest of the break, and have a Happy New Year!!

-Em

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One thought on “Noël en France (Christmas in France)

  1. Beautiful pictures and so glad you had a wonderful Christmas Emma!

    Happy holidays and hope you have fun celebrating in the new year with your new friends and family in France! Best wishes for an even more memorable 2012!

    Meg, Clark, Nick, & Lauren

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