adventures of an american housewife in the south of france

Marché de Noël: Christmas in France

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas over here! I'm really enjoying how festive the town has become.  We've been going on a tour of the Marché de Noël, or Christmas markets.  About a week and a half ago, we visited the small, beautiful town of Annecy on the border of France and Switzerland and had a lovely time at their Marché de Noël.

Christmas market in Annecy

there were pony rides!

a caroling choir

ice skating rink in Annecy

decorations against a beautiful backdrop

le petit train to take people to different parts of the market

the enormous tree!

This past weekend, we visited the two Christmas markets in Montpellier:  one in the Place de la Comédie and one in the Odysseum (which is much smaller).  People have told us that they "aren't as good as last year" but we're enjoying them just the same.  These markets are filled with stalls of clothing, locally made food and wine, toys, trinkets, and of course Vin Chaud.

Marché de Noël

need a Christmas hat?

the French love their chouchous, little candied peanuts!

bands are set up throughout the streets playing music and christmas carols

love this little man, the marionette and the sleeping dog

And at the market in the Odysseum, there were performance choirs, face painting for children, and live ice sculpting!  Now that was cool to see.

the tree in the Odysseum

hot, roasted chestnuts!

Odysseum Christmas market

a true art form. it was cool to see them make these!

Blue and white lights have been hung all through downtown Montpellier and there is a giant Christmas tree in the middle of the Place de la Comédie.  Even though we likely won't get snow here, it just doesn't get that cold, it really does feel like Christmas is right around the corner.

in the Comedie by night

the giant tree in the city center

love all these lights

the lights in the Antigone

gorgeous lights in the city center

the main street in the center of town

I'm all finished with my shopping and shipped off the gifts this afternoon, which was an interesting experience.  This is definitely the earliest I've ever finished my shopping (seems like there's always something that sneaks up at the last minute!) but I didn't really have a choice since I wanted the packages to arrive back in the U.S. in time for Christmas. Here in France, most people have their big holiday celebration with presents and a special meal on December 24th.  We were invited to a dinner with our friends that night, but unfortunately we won't be able to make it because we'll be returning from our trip to Italy that day.  That's right, Hub, Figgy and I are taking a week long road trip through Italy the week before Christmas.  We'll be making a big loop and headed to Riomaggiore for 1 night, Florence for 4 nights, Lucca for 1 night, and Turin for 1 night.  Neither of us have ever been to Italy before and we're really excited to check it out.  (Please send recos our way!) We'll be back late Christmas Eve, just in time to celebrate back in our home. We'll be gone for awhile leading up to Christmas, so we didn't get a tree, but we managed to spruce up the apartment a bit anyway and get it in the holiday spirit.

our festive little mantle

We'll arrive back on Saturday night and everything will be closed on Christmas Day, so I'm planning to stock up on pantry ingredients to make a yummy chili for Christmas dinner and obviously lots and lots of wine. How will you be spending the holidays?

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