Can you believe Christmas is only 20 days away? As I am flying home at the very last minute this year I need to wrap up and post all of my presents beforehand and fingers crossed my journey home will be free of any stress and severe weather!
It never quite works out that way as I’m not an organized and early Christmas shopper. As lots of fellow expats I do a lot of shopping online, though I missed out on the ‘black friday’ ‘cyber monday’ madness that seems to have finally crossed the Atlantic in full force this year!
I don’t let myself pull out the Christmas cards, tinsel and start my shopping until 1 December. After the 1st, for me, Christmas really can begin; cheesy songs, fairy lights and mulled wine aplenty!
It doesn’t always feel like Christmas when we’re away from home. This year I’m looking forward to spending Christmas day with the people I love the most. Christmas is very different in France and when I first moved here I found Nice disappointingly unseasonal. Sunny and mild days and the sparkling, azur blue sea don’t always make for the most festive setting, but the effort the city puts into decorating has definitely improved from the sparsely decorated Christmas trees that lined the Promenade des Anglais back in 2008.
The Christmas market on Place Massena is a happy place to wander through, browsing stalls selling roasted chestnuts, ginger bread and homemade gifts. There’s a bar area next to a little ice rink, a place to stop and recharge waning batteries after Christmas shopping marathons. Here they sell the local speciality ‘socca’ (a type of pancake made using chickpea flour) and my favourite, Nutella crepes (an essential part of my French Christmas, even though we of course eat them year round, they always seem like a festive treat at this time of year!)
I met some friends by the market yesterday and as we sat sipping a glass of bubbly in the winter sunshine, I think I appreciated really how festive my adopted hometown has become.
Hope you’re all enjoying the build up to Christmas and feeling festive wherever you are!