Thursday, December 29, 2011
Christmas traditions old and new
Santa found us in France and our Christmas here was a happy one filled with familiar traditions and some newly adopted. We attended a Christmas Eve service at the American Cathedral in Paris, then returned home for our first ever Bûche de Noël. Florence did get to hang a stocking this year (after a few late night embroidery sessions!) and the girls added the French tradition of leaving out their shoes in the hopes of receiving a treat in them. We had a traditional English turkey dinner finished off with an (impossible to photograph) flaming Christmas pudding and of course there were crackers and paper hats! We were entertained by newly learned Christmas songs on the piano and enjoyed good old BBC Christmas TV for the first time in ten years. There were no friends in town to invite to what had become our traditional Boxing Day party, but a walk in the woods on a cold, sunny day was a good way to spend that day in yet another country that doesn't officially mark it.
We are spending the rest of our week off trying to explore some of the sites of Paris and preparing for the arrival of guests with whom we will celebrate New Year. I hear it is traditional in France to cook up an eight course meal on New Year's Eve. I'm not sure I'm up for that, but Santa brought us a raclette machine that would be perfect for a party. I sense a new tradition in the making...