I've been quite a busy beaver - well, not too sure if there's a single person on the planet still using that term, but it somehow seems to fit with the holidays and the crafty Christmas tree I put together this week. Actually, it's more like a Christmas "branch", but it's still one of the craftiest things I've done, well, ever...basically our own painted "table tree" decorated with ornaments we picked up in Assisi (Italy) last year. Très special.
It got the idea from the French women's magazine, Modes & Travaux (fashion & works), one of the funnest and funkiest mags I've found on the stands. These French are sure a crafty lot - loads of great ideas to try.
And although there are many things I miss about living in Italy, one of the pleasant surprises of life in France is the attention given to the holidays. While I found Christmas in Italy to be a very spiritual affair for me personally, the holiday decor tends to be more subtle, subdued, & often very understated.
And believe me, I witnessed (and was sometimes a part of...shhh) over-the-top Christmas deco in the States that left me questioning the need for yet another velvety, blinking tabletop Santa. But let me tell you one thing dear reader, being abroad sure makes you miss the strangest things. Think I'll be digging our own puffy St. Nick out of storage as soon as I get home.
So, understandably, I've been very pleased to discover that France falls somewhere in between Italian subtlety & American exuberance. Maybe it's the kid in me, but I like to see a little shine, sparkle, and yes, maybe even a touch of snow at Christmas time.
These are a few scenes from our town Christmas market, where beside a handful of jewelry & ceramic stands, the stars of the market just happen to be regional foodstuffs (no complaints here) - homemade confitures & fruits confits, marrons glacés, & salami from Corsica.
We're headed back to the market this morning (Sunday) for another look at the life size crèche & maybe a nibble or two of the hot sausages I spotted on my last trip. We could use a bit of spice to warm us up - it's really very cold in our petit corner of the world.
And what about California? Well, I'm leaving for what I hope will be a slightly warmer Christmas in the States on Wednesday. But with friends, family, and our own version of spice (scrumptious Mexican food *sigh*), it's sure to be an unforgettable holiday.
I'll be posting from "the road" (with a little cushion for jetlag :)...a très bientot mes amis!