Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas Lights in the Village

I found my first Christmas in France to be a bit gloomy. Alsace is famous for its Christmas markets and decorations, and Paris at Christmastime is a sheer delight. I, however, was living in Albi, and Southwest France in 1990 didn't seem to have much Christmas spirit. I missed Christmas lights on houses, Christmas music and Christmas cookies. The very term "Christmas spirit" was untranslatable, and nobody seemed particularly merry.

Now, as I drive through my village and see the significant number of houses decked out with Christmas lights, or as I do my grocery shopping to the tune of "Jingle Bell Rock" or "Let it Snow", I feel a certain ambivalence. The season is indeed a bit more jolly than before, and I do like Christmas lights and Christmas carols! But this rampant Americanization of French customs can't help but be alarming. If the French put as much energy into resurrecting some of their own customs as they do in buying up American traditions, Christmas could certainly be a lovely time here, while remaining French.

7 comments:

Nicole said...

Hmmmm... I have been thinking that the world is becoming more and more homogeneous. It saddens me that Europe is loosing it's culture.

While at the same time, my friend in Italy cannot make some of my recipes because there is NO sour cream in Italy! Now that just seems bizarre.

This is my first visit to your blog. Thank you. I love France.

Betty C. said...

This is very interesting, Nicole, that you should comment on this post I wrote 2 years ago! It was one of my favorites, but at the time no one was reading my blog, so no comments! Now I have one.

I have continued to write La France Profonde, so I hope you will come back. There are a lot more photos now.

Nicole said...

Hi Betty. I did read some of your most recent posts but maybe because I am new to blogging, I like to read some of the first few posts that people write. I like to see where they are coming from and why they started to blog. I am really still so new at the whole thing. I can't believe I wasn't in tune to it all sooner.

Your blog and life interests me as I love France and spent 3 months in Paris in 1988 in a semester abroad. I always kind of wonder... What if I had stayed... Or met someone...

Life has so many potential roads. I will keep you book marked.

Betty C. said...

Actually, Nicole, I think it's a great approach to get into someone's blog by reading the beginning. Some of my favorite posts are at the beginning, even though they may be a little awkward because I didn't know what I was doing either.

Blogging has truly changed my life in ways too numerous to explain here. Enjoy your voyage of discover, and I do hope you'll come back.

Nicole said...

Wow. Now I am so curious. How has blogging changed your life that much? It sounds exciting. I feel a sort of inner change from blogging so far.

Betty C. said...

Nicole, it's a long story. I think being an expat and a mom, living in a fairly rural area EVEN IF IT'S IN FRANCE, has something to do with it. Bloging has just opened up so many doors, including some professional ones. But mainly, when I'm at home in the evening cooking and picking up my family's stuff and thinking that I should be in some French café philosophizing, I turn on my computer and have the coolest connections with people I have so much in common with...and there's more...but I've got to get organized to go to Paris!

Nicole said...

That is so cool. I was wondering... thinking that it could possibly open doors professionally. I have been hearing fabulous stories of other bloggers. Already it seems I am finding an connecting with people. It is really fun. I am near my family here and I have friends but not many that share my same passions for cooking, art, writing... They think I am silly sometimes.

Have a fabulous trip! I hope to hear about it and more about all your opened doors...