A Few Favorite French Christmas Traditions

By Catherine Rickman

Christmastime is all about pomp and circumstance and tradition, and who does tradition better than the meticulous French? In this video from France-based New Zealander Rosie (AKA Not Even French, currently back in NZ for quarantine), you’ll get to explore a few of the fun habits the French have picked up over several hundred Decembers.

Some things are similar, like Santa Claus or Père Noël, but did you know about his spooky brother, Père Fouettard? How about what a papillote is? Or what French children leave out for Santa instead of stockings? Rosie touches on things like the religious remnants of Catholic France, like the popularity of calendriers de l’avent or the handmade santons in a crèche, or nativity scene. She covers Réveillon, the great Christmas Eve feast (more on that here), and mentions the delicious Treize Desserts popular in Provence. And we’ll help fill in her gaps on knowledge of French Christmas songs in this list.

So whether you’re spending Christmas in France, or just dreaming of the vitrines at the Galeries Lafayette, enjoy this little sampler of French holiday customs this season.

Source: A Few Favorite French Christmas Traditions – Frenchly

Joyeux Noël from Notre Dame Cathedral

Sous les auspices de l’Église de Paris représentée par Monseigneur Michel Aupetit, archevêque de Paris la Maîtrise Notre-Dame de Paris donnera un concert de Noël dirigé par Henri Chalet, son directeur, dans la cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris. Ce concert événement, diffusé sur France 2 et KTO se déroulera dans le strict respect des normes sanitaires en cours et réunira 20 chanteurs du choeur d’adultes de la Maîtrise, accompagnés par Yves Castagnet à l’orgue positif (instrument loué pour l’occasion), ainsi que par 2 solistes: Julie Fuchs (soprano) et Gautier Capuçon (violoncelle).

My favorite French books of 2020

I LOVE to read. It’s a very big part of my life, and I use books to help me better understand the modern world that we live in. So far in 2020, I’ve read around 98 books (not including the stories I’ve read to my son 50+ times ;)!) I know that there are some bookworms in my community, so I thought I would share some of my favorite French books with you today. Whether you enjoy fiction or nonfiction, chick-lit or more serious subjects, I’ve got a recommendation for you! Enjoy 🙂
Take care and stay safe.

Comme une Française

😘 from Grenoble, France. Géraldine

Comme une Française: Use these French lyrics to woo an old love

Comme une Française

Love changes over the years, and nothing expresses it better than this romantic love song in French by Belgian singer Jacques Brel.

Welcome back to this special series, where I teach you how to learn French using love songs in French! Today, I have a beautiful, quite melancholic song for you to discover. Love changes. A couple is not the same after a lifetime together. Jacques Brel explains that very well when he writes the beautiful, beautiful La Chanson des Vieux Amants (= Song of the Old Lovers.) Let’s use this song to learn more about romantic French. Perhaps you can practice saying these lyrics to your significant other?

Take care and stay safe. 😘 from Grenoble, France.

Géraldine