Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Christmas market, lights and oh no, it's nearly New Year!

Posted by Rosie

In France Christmas does not have quite the commercial build up as the UK.  A few shops may increase their toy aisles in mid November but there is little else until early December and even then is is quite subtle.   By December 15th things were getting a bit more Christmassy and we had 2 events we wanted to go to, both on the same day!  The first was Ben's school Christmas Market and the second was a Christmas light show and fireworks in Flers.  However it looked like we could manage both, just, as well as nipping home in between to feed animals .... well it would have been OK had the magician not been REALLY late arriving.  But I am jumping ahead, first the Market.

School Christmas market
Ben and his friends had been working hard after school on every Tuesday through November and December making things to sell.  We had heard that a previous market had been organised before we were in France but not much had sold as the things were not that good.  However we decided we would go to support Ben and I have to say we were really very pleasantly surprised.  The children had created some lovely and varied things - candlesticks made from branches, candle-holders, jewellery, Christmas wreaths, photo frames, mirrors etc.  We bought a candle and a wreath for the gite, a candle for us and rather too may sweet kebabs for the boys! 

It was after the market thought that things went a bit downhill due the non-arrival of the magician. In the end our friend Etienne came to the rescue playing his violin and a game with some now rather bored children.  Father Christmas then came early to give presents to all the children but there was still no sign of the magician.  All the time we were clock watching and thinking we would miss the event at Flers.  The magician finally turned up at 5pm but we decided having seen his not overly brilliant magic at the summer fête we would give him a miss and head to Flers instead. 

Christmas light show at Flers
We got to Flers and caught the end of the Christmas Market (where Tom sneaked off and bought me some lovely earrings) and as the light faded we were entertained by a very unusual show.  A band, together with three people on stilts and 2 on unicycles danced their way through the dark streets.  Because everyone was wearing special costumes with lights sewn in the effect was excellent.  The music very catchy although the boys wouldn't let Simon and I dance along ... can't think why!  Slowly the band and dancers led the crowds to the park by the castle and as they finished the park lights were switched off and we were entertained with a magnificent firework display.  I haven't been to fireworks for years as Ben has always been scared to go but this time we insisted he came.  He was nervous to begin with but within seconds fear had changed to enjoyment and we all loved the loud bangs, colourful light explosions and accompanying music.  It was a fabulous display.

The gite, ready for Christmas
So did we make the right decision not seeing the magician?  A definite yes.  Together the school market and trip to Flers made a most enjoyable start to Christmas 2013.  It still didn't stop us leaving far too many Christmas preparations to the last minute which is why we sent only one card (sorry it was late Mum!) and why there was a mad rush to get everything ready on time for guests who arrived in the gite on Dec 21st.  But we did manage and by the comment they left in our Visitor's Book they had a great time.  And now I have realised it is New Year's Eve and I have done nothing more than invite gite guests in to celebrate with us.  Best get off here then and sort things out.  Right - first put bubbly in the fridge .....

Did Christmas sneak up on you or were you all organised and ready before we had started?  And what are your plans for New Year's Eve? Do let us know. 


  1. Great post ... wish you all the best this coming 2014 !!!
    Hope to see you soon !
    Pablo, Lore & Santi

  2. Happy New Year to you and yours - may the year be filled with smiles and laughter. We hope you fulfil your dreams and aspirations, remain happy and content and, enjoy good health.

  3. Thank you Pablo, Lore, Santi and Ian - wishing you all the very best for 2014 too.

  4. Christmas definitely snuck up on us but our NYE dinner last night more organised and was fun. I love New Year. Best wishes for 2014 to you.

  5. Glad you were organised for New Year at least Veronica. We actually ended up having a lovely evening with the guests from the gite together with possibly the world's smallest firework display at midnight! All the best for 2014 :)


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