Well I started this blog pre-Noel and obviously didn't finish it before the big day, but that was because I had a lot of pre-conceptions about Xmas in France and I just wanted to see how the whole event “held up” under close scrutiny. I had been told, and I quote, “they don’t really bother” but I knew they ate their Christmas dinner Christmas Eve and opened their presents afterwards at midnight, that they don’t have a Boxing Day and only had one day off work (the 25th itself) but I was eager to see how it panned out.
My findings: Well they DO bother but prefer to go for the old fashioned, decorations up for the week, leading to the big day approach. No light strewn grottos or floodlight house frontages, modest lights (white) and occasional wreaths. The shopping centre's go more to town but, as a whole, it’s less like the United States’ festive jamboree and more like the Christmases I remember back in the late sixties, low key and low budget. Therefore, in my humble opinion as chairperson of the WTF society of naysayers it suited me down to the ground.!!
I know a lot of people actively enjoy Christmas running from the 1st November until 12th night but save to say I am not one of them and Christmas morning found me out in the fields and woods behind my cottage playing “dodge the partridges” with my motley K9 crew of Phee, Kif (and this visit) Stitch, and having one of THE best Christmas mornings a washed up old agility crone like me could ever have. Don’t get me wrong, I am BIG on Christmas, like it, love it, shriek with delight, cry like a baby, feel overwhelming joy, sentiment, nostalgia and love……….but can only manage it for about the same amount of time as the French it seems ! 3 days MAX.
Glad I have Facebook, glad I have Skype, glad I have a husband that understands my need to keep in contact on both. It allowed me to enjoy the festive cheer with my (not so) near and dearest and be invited into their lives and homes. Did I miss my children ? (now adults) yes like crazy, but there always WAS going to be a first “none” children Noel( New Year and birthday), I just took a little longer getting round to it than most parents.
Thanks though to modern technology, half way round the world is no longer that far, and the South West of France is seriously closer. One of the oddest things to be missing was Olympia, as that was always part of Christmas to me. Groomed twice for Diane Graves in past years and had serious aspirations to get there myself but again modern technology allowed me to wish people luck, keep in touch with the goings on, AND to view the rounds themselves, thanks to the tireless efforts of those filming and posting. Thanks everybody xx I will fix that next year of course, I will have installed Sky, Eurosport and with any luck will be grooming for my daughter, that’s if she’ll have me now I have deserted her !!
Anyway bonne fêtes, I am off to have yet another meal of the festive turkey I made my husband buy at an exorbitant price when it’s only me who really likes it. Oops !!