Great Things about Christmas in France

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Phoebe from Lou Messugo –  traveller, francophile, expat, mum and foodie now living in Roquefort les Pins near Nice where she runs a gîte after many years of travelling and living in Asia, Eastern Europe and Australia – has come up with the brilliant idea this year of asking other bloggers what they like about Christmas in France.


The result is a post called 24 Reasons to Love Christmas in France that I’m sure you’ll enjoy immensely. Here’s a little introduction.

Christmas in France, what’s it all about, is it any different to elsewhere and is there anything special to enjoy?  I’ve written about it previously describing how the build up is slow and calm even under normal circumstances, but this year we’ve had to contend with tragic terrorist attacks in Paris, the resulting state of emergency nationwide and potentially worrying regional election results as well, meaning it hasn’t been the most festive of times recently.  Add to this a sense amongst many expats that Christmas is “better” at “home” surrounded by familiar traditions, sights and sounds and rather than feel happy and excited many find themselves feeling low and missing home. Read more.

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9 thoughts on “Great Things about Christmas in France”

  1. Thanks for sharing like this Rosemary, I hope it gets seen by lots of people. And thanks again for taking part. I can’t believe you think Christmas in France starts too early and is too commercial….you should try England! It starts in October in the supermarkets and ads on TV. It’s all about spend spend spend. City lights are often sponsored and truly hideous, but of course there are good things too.

    1. I hope it will be too, because it’s a great idea. I like all the traditional parts of Christmas that I loved in Australia – making the cake at the beginning of December and everyone stirring and making a wish (I got everyone to do so at the foie gras workshop, even if it was a bit late), opening the advent calendar, preparing the Christmas stockings with little fun gifts, decorating the tree as a family, singing Christmas carols, listening to my father read Twas the Night Before Christmas, going to visit friends on Christmas day, etc. In the two families I have known intimately here, there doesn’t seem to be a traditional side. It’s all about presents as far as I can see. So this year, as there are no children (ours are grown up and don’t have any of their own), we’ve decided not to have any presents and concentrate on the traditional fun side of things. We’ll see how we go!

  2. When I clicked ‘read on’, all I got was a blank page.
    I dislike the commercialism of Christmas which starts here in September. UGH!
    I saw early signs in the UK, and Switzerland when we were travelling.
    Last night I met with 8 friends at Brisbane’s Southbank for a glass of bubbles. There was a market with the appearance of European Christmas stalls, carol singers, entertainers and people meeting and greeting. A lovely atmosphere on a perfect summer’s evening. [Meanwhile poor Sydney was being torn apart with tornado like storms.] We then strolled across the Victoria bridge to Queen Street Mall and the Meyer Christmas Parade. Theme this year – 12 Days of Christmas. Cleverly presented. Camels and donkeys told the Christmas story and Santa’s sleigh was pulled by reindeer.
    It was short walk to City Hall to watch the light show illuminated on its columns and tower every 15 mins. Again families mingled and children watched with wonder.
    A feeling of Peace on Earth filled us. If only this was so.

    1. I’ve fixed up the link – thank you Helen! I, too, dislike the commercialisation of Christmas. It usually starts in November here, then in earnest on 1st December. I can still remember being shocked at my first real French Christmas. I was invited with my first husband to his in-laws and when it came to present time, they all jumped up and ran over to their pile. These were adults, not children!

  3. Somewhat tongue in cheek, I love that there are a lot of decorations that do not get taken down (especially by 6th Jan), and we have our game of ‘spot the deflated Father Christmas’ well into the Spring/Summer.

    1. Our next door neighbours in Australia when I was a child kept their decorations on the front window all year round!

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