Christmas in France

Christmas in France is weird. We celebrated the evening of the 24th, which isn’t in itself so weird. But everything is still open on the 24th : supermarkets, shops, restaurants, etc. We got to J’s aunt’s house at 8 and ate a yummy French Christmas dinner (duck, oysters, salmon feuilletés, bûche de Noël) which ended around 11:30. Then we brought out the card games, and around 12:30 before we left, we exchanged gifts with his aunt and uncle and cousins. Then we went back to J’s parents house where we exchanged gifts with the immediate family (little brother, sister and her boyfriend, J and me, his parents). Of course the teenage brother received video games so they had to be tested. By this point it was after 2 and I was about to fall asleep. So J and I went home and on the drive home he said, “Why don’t we open the gifts from your parents now?” So we did, and ended up finally going to bed around 3:30 in the morning.

So then on actual Christmas there was nothing left to do and everything was closed! We went over to a friend’s house and played an epic game of Risk.

I asked J how all of this works when you’re little and obviously can’t stay up till the wee hours of the morning. Plus there’s Santa Claus to account for! He said you go to bed after the meal and open the presents in the morning, and that often there’s a Christmas lunch with more family.

But the big surprise is that J bought me a bike for Christmas! I’ve been putting off buying a bike (and a car radio) till I have a little extra money (not there yet, thanks U of Poitiers who still owe me 700 euros!), and wasn’t sure when it would actually happen. Here’s the model he got me:

It’s called a “vélo tout chemin” (VTC) which I’m pretty sure is the equivalent of some sort of hybrid. I tested it out in the village yesterday because it was really nice out.


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