Christmas! - Sharing Spirit, Smiles and Similies

:bell:Here we are again. Nearly THAT time of year.! :christmas_tree:

Let’s raise a little community cheer :clinking_glasses: here by sharing the happy spirit. I can see from the handy dropdown menu “Your topic is similar to…” some need for contact over the years. I know that there are some terrible things happening in this world today but for all our good we can make this a happier time together. Even during WWII during the Blitz there was carol singing in the underground!

:snowflake: Post us links to seasonal YouTube videos, especially ones with snow for us in the dry south.

:ribbon: Found anything wonderful to buy, or make online or in the markets? Pics of the latter results would be much admired :yarn::thread:

:birthday: Visiting the homebound? Share your stories and pics, please

:heart_eyes_cat: Pets in on the fun?

:wedding: Church services.

:open_mouth: Choir practice (and that other pretend practice on Friday evenings at the bar)


P.S. (Could the Bah Humbug Brigade please create their own grumpy Topic and leave us to our revoltingly jolly emoji filled holiday!) :luggage:



One of the many things I love about France is that here, Christmas doesn’t begin three months before Christmas Day


Shops in the UK are already full of Christmas tat!

Hallelujah to that but French shops will be gearing up for Halloween which is just as bad.

Its all about money.

Bahhhhhh humbugggggg


So agree. And that it starts on Christmas Eve and finishes after Christmas Day and everything goes back to normal (or at least until New Year’s Eve).

Round here, there’s more emphasis on toussaint - shops full of plastic flowers and chrysanthemums. I love the way the graveyards are all cleaned and swept and full of flowers by the end of the month.


Yes, that too.
Many years ago before realising the significance of the multitude of crysanthimums on sale at this time of year we bought a pot full to take take back to the UK as a present to my mother in law. She was 60 something at the time and lived to 91 so no harm done .


Only 11 weeks left!

Sending/hoping to receive gifts?..

And for the child inside:

For the Grumps:


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That’s a lifetime Susannah - I always bought my presents on Christmas Eve in the UK - John Lewis at lunchtime on Christmas Eve - they were already marking stuff down for the sales. :slight_smile:

Sorry, going to have to mute this thread and leave the jolliness to others.


I’ll have some of them as well, far too early :roll_eyes:

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Christmas has been under preparation for a while now, behind the scenes in our commune.

Negotiations with local artisans/suppliers… so that the Old Folks’ Christmas Parcels can still retain the mix of goodies… within our budget. (Like many small communes we’re trying not to increase property taxes.)

Our kids come from a wide range of social backgrounds.
For some… Christmas at School will be their one and only bit of fun… so we try to make it really, really special.
Orders have been placed with larger organisations, so that the Chocolate Santas (beloved by the kids) will be available… fingers crossed.
There is always a book, a game and whatever… as well… depending on funds available… but these all need to be sourced and sorted.

School Christmas Dinner also needs to be planned ages in advance… to ensure that all the ingredients are available and every item meets the regulations etc…
but it’s all well worth the effort… yum yum.

and, of course, the kids are hoping that Father Christmas will visit the village…
every year there are rumours that he might get lost…
but every year there’s that magical moment when one of them spots the “red suit”… the word passes swiftly… and they’re all excitedly craning forward… cheering and calling out to him…

it’s magical alright… happy faces on all those kids… that’s worth all the hardwork and preparation :+1: :+1: :+1:


Invited for lunch to friends in Paris years ago, I hastily bought a nice bunch of flowers, then we travelled on the metro. People stared a bit. When I handed them to our hosts on arrival, the chrysanthemums were politely and quickly disappeared. I had no idea of their significance until much later. We all make mistakes!

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Favourites for the Christmas holidays
Wonderful Life
Christmas Candle
Miracle on 34th Street
Love Actually

of course we know 'em off by heart, but it’s all feel-good, cosy, zzzzzzzzz

Lidl yesterday had started to stock the festive spicy cakes and biscuits and chocolates. I did feel a bit grumpy over that because we are still inthe throes of summer down here and its still hot which I would like to cling onto for as long as possible especially with the thoughts of colder weather looming eventually and possible power outages if things go from bad to worse.

There was a cheapskate english man who came to live in our commune a good 20 years ago now. After toussaint and people had taken the crysanths off the graves and put by the exterior bins to be taken away, he would take them all and replant them in his garden. Fare do’s to him, he had a wonderful display the following year but that was tainted by where he had got them from and he had absolutely no idea about them being the flower for the dead so I don’t think he stole them after that again.

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This will be my first xmas in the new house and the first time I have put up a tree for at least 7 years since my son moved away and could not get back for the holidays. I have four artificial trees of varying sizes, my daughter couldn’t take her little one to the US when she moved so that ended up with me and I have many decorations from the 50’s and 60’s that my husband kept from his family. It will also be the first xmas my little grandson will understand more what is going on and help decorate and because his other grandparents have also moved down here too, we can all get together in three different locations to celebrate - am looking forward to it but have decided not to make the english fruit cake as only me will eat it and have you worked out the cost to make one now??? and of course, the time the electric oven would be running when we have been asked to cut down.

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Frankly, anyone is welcome to take plants which have been jettisoned at our cemetery.
I think it’s sad when stuff is simply chucked away…

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My son has a proper chef de cuisine who cooks from scratch at the collège where he teaches so the meals do not come from a central production place like so many places. Each xmas the chef asks the pupils to vote for what they would like for their xmas meal treat and if a majority vote is made he will cook it within reason and budget. Its very hard though to get teenagers to choose something other than the standard regime of pasta or pizza so many seem to be fed by their parents.


Ah… our kids range from 3/4 years old… but our chef knows what they’ll enjoy…
and, of couse, we adults are pleased to accept whatever comes our way :rofl: :+1: it’s a fabulous spread.

Suppose that is one way of looking at it although I have a bit of a phobia about things from graveyards and being re-used and I always left my husband’s tributes until they had completely died before removing. I heard last night a good friend from back in Bretagne had died so asked about sending flowers as he had moved back to the UK to be cared for by his daughter. She said not to bother because as soon as the service at the crem was over, any flowers are sent to the local care home. To be honest that gave me the shivers thinking about elderly people getting funeral flowers as decorations intheir residence.

The crêche my grandson goes to every day gets their meals delivered by the local traiteur so its good stuff and they get a special treat too at xmas. He’s got most of his teeth ready for this year’s offering. :tooth: :tooth: