Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A French Christmas - "Père Noël" (Father Christmas)

In France, Father Christmas is called Père Noël. After dinner on Christmas Eve, French families prepare for the arrival of Père Noël and his donkey, Gui (French for "Mistletoe.") Children fill their shoes with carrots and hay and leave them by the fireplace for Gui. A glass of wine is placed beside the shoes for Père Noël.

In earlier 18th and 19th century France, peasants’ wooden shoes, called "sabots", were often used at Christmas time.  Today shoes of any kind are set before the fireplace for Père Noël to fill. You can still see sabots throughout France in candy and pastry shops where chocolate wooden shoes are made and filled with candies.

Late on Christmas Eve when Père Noël arrives, he removes the carrots and hay from the shoes for Gui and, if the boy or girl has been good, he replaces the hay with candies and presents. He enjoys the glass of wine and then moves on to the next child's home.

At My Faux French Chateau I don't have any wooden shoes to set out for Père Noël and Gui, so I hope they'll be happy with my faux-leopard print heels instead!

Joyeux Noël, Mitty

1 comment:

  1. Hilarious! I think Pere Noel would think your faux leopard print heels are fabulous & the perfect substitute in a pinch. ;o)