Tuesday, January 07, 2014

December : Cold and festivities

The month of December continues with rain and cold weather, sometimes scraping ice off windshield before going to work. It also marks the beginning of all the festivities.

1. Christmas tree and advent calendar
I did not grow up with these so there is nothing special for me but annoyance. Our tiny apartment is already burdened with toys everywhere, but we still need to make a corner with a tree and a nativity set, as the suggestion of not having any of these was frown upon. The father and daughter probably enjoyed 20 minutes of tree setting up, but the rest of the month I see leaves and Christmas ornaments wandering around the living room, the nativity set messing up with different toys (how about a wolf with baby Jesus?). Nobody but me actually took the time explaining to her the history behind, but I have a very limited knowledge about all these. And, since when eating two three chocolates a day is good for a kid? I love chocolate before coming to France, now I simply hate it. It appears in every celebrations in abundant, I do not hesitate to throw away chocolate bunny or Santa Claus these days because I really have have enough. All these rants just to say that the Christmas tradition has been passed down without the meaning behind, what a waste!

2. Company Christmas Party
This year my company invited us to a circus. This was the first time she watched a circle performance and she was glued to the stage. Her favorite part was during the tigers performance, unfortunately it lasted for merely 5 minutes. The lion was sick else she would had gone crazy.

The party continued with some afternoon snack and a room full of games : for kids and for adults. We stayed for a while to learn some, and she went home with a balloon card game which she enjoys very much.

3. Christmas festival organized by our Town Hall
 The Town Hall organizes a Christmas festival every year. They set up a Merry-go-around, for free. Considering that a round normally costs around 2.50€, you bet we took advantage to the maximum.

We queued up for the carriage. They also had short films and story telling sessions, puppet and art exhibition.

4. Gift hunting
I had been "interviewing" several coworkers on how they choose their gifts. Most of them said that with their kids, they browse through some catalogs and make a list, then send it to the family. Some of them don't give present between adults anymore.We didn't have problem picking up gifts for Aelig, but for the rest of the family, it was a tough task. Family members also asked what I wanted, but at that point I really didn't need anything. They insisted, so I had to come out with something. So Santa did give me a lot of gifts, whether I like it or not.

5. Christmas meals
What I love the most about Christmas is time spent preparing foods with family. It was convivial and enriching. My MIL was the main chef, she was a chef with ideas.

Foie-gras (fattened liver of a duck or goose) was one of important Christmas ingredient. We put a slide of foie-gras on top of a homemade bread, topped with some pan-fried apples and almond slides. I don't eat Foie-gras so she prepared one for me without.

A platter with a combination of cherry tomatoes, mixed nuts, olives and lychee. I prepared this but I made a mistake, I shouldn't have mixed lychee (considered as a dessert) with other appetizers.

Crab meat wrapped with a slide of smoked salmon, sided with mixed avocado and chopped shallots. It took us quite some times to have those crab meats.

The highlight of Christmas Eve : when Santa met the Angel. A neighbor disguised as Santa and brought over a bed sheet full of gifts, all for her. Of course she was elated.

La bûche de Noël (Yule log) made by my MIL. It was not as heavy as those she made previous years. Everyone loved it, it served as birthday cake for the Angel too.


  1. your MIL's yule log was very colourful ..

    I know what you mean by all those chocolate .. u know, they are selling Easter bunny chocolate now ... crazy! Normally, I keep the chocolate for baking, like brownies, chocolate tart that use lots of chocolate. I also don't eat as much chocolate as I used to .. perhaps too much supply over here .. jilat also ..

  2. Anonymous3:22 AM

    Nice bûche!

    Do you like foie gras? This is usually something foreigners find super strange/gross!

    1. I used to love fois gras (still like it I guess), but I don't like the way the animals are being raised. So don't eat it anymore.

  3. Really many events for you and your family in December with an interesting Christmas meal. You do not eat foie gras due to the way the geese were being raised or is it because you do not eat livers in general. Here, it is common to eat the normal livers (not foie gras).

    1. It is due to the way the geese were being raised. I do eat liver in general.

    2. Good to hear that you are doing your part. And thanks for dropping by my blog. :)