Holiday Traditions: Christmas in France

In the spirit of sharing, we will be bringing you stories about how different families celebrate the holiday season. Today, we have a special article that is written by a French teen who shares how people in France celebrate Christmas.
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Cold weather, no leaves on the trees, Christmas lights in the streets, and Père Noël in shops means Christmas is near. And it’s actually a great thing, because we all love Christmas. What we want is love, Christmas songs and food. I’m a French teenager, and I’d like to tell you how we celebrate Christmas in France.

- Père Noël

Père Noël is the French name of Santa, and we love him a lot. Actually, French people do nearly the same things as Americans. In all the houses you’ll find Christmas trees, with small villages set up beneath the tree representing the famous religious scene when Jesus was born. This is a tradition you’ll find mostly in the south of France, the region where I live.

- Presents

What would Christmas be without gifts? Well, I don’t know, because sure we offer gifts for Christmas! And that’s really cool. France doesn’t have anything to teach you about gifts by the way.

- Don’t mess with foodAdvertisement
Food is important for a lot of different countries in the world, but I don’t think there is a country where food is more important than France. One cannot imagine a Christmas eve without food. If you want to have a French dinner on Christmas Eve, here are some tips to help (and I’m sure you’ll want to because France is cool!).

  • Begin with Foie-gras, which is just the must have on Christmas Eve. It’s like heaven, honestly. Serve with a good quality French bread that is toasted.
  • If you don’t like Foie-gras, don’t worry, there is an alternative. You can eat oysters with lemon or vinaigrette, but please NO KETCHUP.
  • Champagne must be served. Throw your beer bottles away, and enjoy one of the best French beverages.
  • Then serve a turkey. I know you just ate thousands of them for Thanksgiving but remember that Thanksgiving doesn’t exists in France.
  • Of course, you have to eat cheese. You can eat Camembert, but if you find it too strong, replace it with Brie, Comte, Beaufort or a Ossau-Iraty. Every cheese is good, but the ones I’ve mentioned above are my favorites.
  • As I live in south of France, I recommend you try a special from my region called the 13 desserts.

We can say that Christmas is, all around the world, a wonderful moment. A moment when you share, you love, you spend time with your family and you have fun. Nowadays, in a world where violence and horror is so publicized, Christmas is a way to be together, to be respectful, to be dreamers, to be lovers and to enjoy life.

About the author: Adrien Sebathier is sixteen and lives in southern France. He loves to travel and take photographs. He is proud of being a ginger and loves American CHEESCAKE with a passion.

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Catherine Prystup
About Catherine Prystup 2114 Articles
Catherine Prystup founded LiveMom.com out of a desire to build a better community for Austin-area moms. She has three children, ages seventeen, eight and three years old.

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