Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A French Christmas - The "Spirit" of the Christmas Season in France

"Joyeux Noël!"

Christmas Bird Nest Ornament and Gift Tags I made for for my Christmas celebrations!

"Joyeux Noël!" This joyous greeting comes from the French phrase "les bonnes nouvelles," which means "the good news."  The word "Noël" is derived from the Latin word "natalis" referring to the Nativity of Christ.

When images of Christmas in France come into my mind, they come from books and magazine articles that I've read. I've never spent Christmas in France but this is a dream of mine.

 As in the U.S., Christmas in France is a time for friends and family, marked by family's spending time together, gifts for children and adults alike, gifts for the poor and religious celebrations.

   The celebration of Christmas in France varies by region. Most provinces celebrate Christmas on the 25th of December; however, in eastern and northern France, the Christmas season begins on December 6th and in Lyon, December 8th is la Fête des Lumières when residents pay tribute to the virgin Mary by lighting up the city with candles in their windows.

Throughout the month of December, I'm going to research and share details of French Christmas traditions and incorporate some of these into my own holiday celebrations.  Join me as I try to capture and reflect the French "spirit" of Christmas!

Joyeux Noël, Mitty

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