What is a typical French Christmas ? In fact there are many traditions and I will share with you what we do here at home.
In the photos you have the atmosphere... only the smells of cake baking and mulled wine are not there... but you can easily imagine!!!
Christmas in my family starts today, on Christmas Eve. The house has been decorated for several weeks and there are candles burning everywhere, in every room, on windowsills, in the flight of stairs.
This afternoon, by five, we will drink mulled wine or hot chocolate and eat French toast with mandarines and litchies. It helps us wait for dinner which will be after mass.
Family members will arrive at 7.30pm, some will go to mass with us and some will stay home as housesitters!! That's what I call them but the truth is that they don't want to come to mass!!!
Mass is at 9.00pm. It's always a beautiful mass. For me, Christ's birth is the reason why Christmas is important.
We will start dinner by midnight. On the menu this year, foie gras on toast and black olive tapenade on toast, raw oysters, and a salmon and spinach pie. As a dessert we're going to have our homemade "croustade aux pommes", which is a kind of apple pie. We will drink champagne only.
As you can see, there is no "buche de noël" which is the typical French dessert for Christmas!! So I guess my family has its own traditions!
My wife will play the guitar and sing. My daughters will play the flute and the clarinet and I, for the sake of everyone, will not sing!! :-)
The next day we will have a Kougloff for breakfast. It is a typical Christmas Alsacian cake.
We will open the presents that arrived under the tree when everybody was asleep. The presents at my house are only opened in the morning, never on Christmas Eve.
Christmas day will be at my wife's brother's house.
This year, with my daughter, we had decided to make something the guests could bring home. So, we made small labels, that can be used as ornaments. One has Joyeux Noël on it, one has Merry Christmas and the last one has Season's Greetings. They were fun to make and a good way to share some special time with my youngest daughter as well as a good means to get into the Christmas spirit...
I wish you all a blessed and peaceful Christmas. May your homes be filled with Christmas love and your hearts with Christmas cheers.