Some of the things we have discovered about this time of year in France:
Most firms only have one day off for Christmas. And if Christmas falls on a Saturday or Sunday, tough, you don’t get any time off.
On 6th December Santa Claus calls by with biscuits and chocolates for children who have been good – and an evil character with a whip accompanies him, in case anyone has been naughty!
The French don’t send many cards, particularly before Christmas. Some are sent throughout January to send good wishes for the New Year. Don’t make the same mistake as me and wish Happy New Year in December. It is considered to bring bad luck.
Christmas is about eating. There is a big meal around midnight on 24th called the Réveillon, then everyone starts on another big meal on Christmas Day. These have been known to last for three or four hours so it’s a test of stamina.
There are no crackers, no Carol Services, no mince pies or Christmas cake and a Yule Log replaces Christmas pudding for dessert.
Its also the start of the skiing seasons. Several of my students will be disappearing to go skiing around Christmas.