#SFATW : Christmas in my hometown

Good morning, good afternoon, good evening friends, how are you ? Today’s another day for my special feature, Souvenirs From Across The World. Since it’s kind of the season, this month’s theme is going to be all about celebrations! I chose to focus on Christmas, but feel free to focus on all, or any special celebration you do in your own countries, I’d love to learn about it all!

If you’re new to this feature, Souvenirs From Across The World is a feature where you can talk about your country / city and get to know other bloggers’ more. You can write your own blog post about celebrations in your country for a month, from now until the 8th of January. Come back when it’s done and leave me a link in comments so I can add you to this list!
โžก๏ธ More about the feature.

Christmas is kind of a big deal where I live, because it’s that time when people just come out of their caves or something, suddenly streets are packed, tourists taking over the little streets of my hometown, and everything is just CROWDED and crazy.

In France, and I guess there are as well in other countries (? I never travel around Christmas time, so I do not know all the traditions about this. PLEASE enlighten me?), Christmas Market florish around the end of November until the last week of December for the most popular ones. They take over streets, cities, with their little wooden houses, they sell cute little Christmassy items, TONS of food and also lots of traditional stuff, depending on the region where it’s set. I’m probably being a bit biased here – but not so much. I’ve been told more than once and I think there are serious people saying my hometown has one of the best Christmas Market out there, and my region is one of the best places to come to around that time of the year. So, yes, it’s pretty nice. But before packing and heading there, book your hotel room at least 4 months in advance (not kidding. it’s so small, but so crowded). Also, be warned, you’ll walk in a sea of people, and it smells of bretzels and choucroute, A LOT.

Despite this, Christmas is a wonderful time around here.

A walk around the city & Christmas market ๐Ÿ˜

Beware: apparently, we have a thing for teddy bears in windows frames. No idea why, but they’re kind of cute so that’s okay, I guess.

 

Couldn’t do this little picture-trip without showing you the typical houses here on this little French region.

 

There are SO many lights all around the cities around Christmas-time, it’s beautiful to watch even if at times it also seems kind of a waste? I guess it’s still very beautiful. A little pictures tour of lights around the city of Strasbourg, France, curtesy of my lovely sister who’s lucky to live there.

 

 

Stars and lights all around, kind of magical isn’t it ?

 

These lights below are my personal favorites, light raindrops of lights falling. It’s so pretty.

And to end this, THE attraction of the city: the massive tree just standing in one of the biggest squares of the city. It’s I – don’t – remember how many meters high, but let me assure you, it’s big. And there’s kind of a ceremony when it’s being lighted for the first time. We are cute with our big trees, aren’t we.

 

A little bonus here, and what I find to be a perfect transition for what’s coming next… Little cups we get whenever we take something to drink on a Christmas market. (for the translation, it’s, Strasbourg, Christmas Capital)

 

 

 

A Christmassy French Food Guide ๐Ÿด

We French people are very, very fond of food. I think that’s one of the reasons why people love it here, THE FOOD. And not going to lie here, it’s one of the thing I miss the most when I’m away travelling.

Around Christmas, we have some particular traditions and some food we’d rather eat than other. It’s kind of a tradition, and it’s here in my hometown, always the case.

bredelesFirst, there’s the Bredeles case. I already talked about these little sort of cookies in another blog post, but in case you missed it, check out the recipe! They are delicious and I actually made a batch just today.

But what is it?! They’re sort of cookies made with butter, flour, eggs and you can put some almonds, nuts, basically anything you want. Also, they’re delicious.

Another thing you can find very often around Christmas, and if you ever walk around in Christmas markets here, it’s, vin chaud. Read: hot wine. Yes. We do love wine a lot around here. I don’t like it, but…seems like I’m the only one. Rest assured: you can also get some hot juices like blueberry juice and that is actually delicious.

As for the actual day… Lots of people celebrate Christmas Eve on the 24th, and on the 25th of December. The food fest is obviously

foie-gras
Foie gras, picture from pinterest.

gargantuous, with tons of meals, dessert, and you basically eat until your stomach can’t take it anymore, while catching up with your family, hearing all of the latest gossips and drinking three different kind of wines along the meal. Here in my hometown we do Crรฉmant d’Alsace -a sort

Noix de Saint-Jacques, picture from pinterest.
Noix de Saint-Jacques, picture from pinterest.

of sparkling alcohol of sorts-, Wine, Wine, more wine, oh, and maybe a little more wine ? We’re definitely not alcoholics, everything in moderation, OBVIOUSLY. As for the food… Well, can I i

Salmon toasts, picture from pinterest
Salmon toasts, picture from pinterest

nterest you in some foie gras ? Salmon ? Noix de Saint Jacques ? Or can we just skip to my personal favorite, the BUCHE DE NOร‹L ?

buche-de-noel

Random things you might or might not want to know about Christmas in France

๐ŸŽ„ I’m guessing this is like this in most cities in the world where we celebrate Christmas: this is a highly commercial celebration after all. In France, shops open on the three Sundays before Christmas to let us drown into the mass, sorry, find our gifts and so. Yes, otherwise shops are never open on Sundays in France. We are weird.

๐ŸŽ„ The 25th is a bank holiday in France, and nowhere in France but where I live, the 26th is just as well. English people got Boxing Day, we got one more free day before having to go back to work. Yay!

Celebrations in your countries #onyourblogs! ๐ŸŽŠ

Write your own blog post on celebrations in your country and come back to share it with me!
Dailey Downing’s celebrations
Tyra Ann’s celebrations in Canada
Emma Kath’s celebrations in Canada
(your links here)

Do you celebrate Christmas? If you do, do you like this day, why, or why not?ย  What kind of food do you eat? What’s your favorite part of Christmas ?

If you don’t celebrate this day, what kind of celebrations do you have in your country ? Any special day you love? Let me know in comments! ๐Ÿ’ฌ

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Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. ๐Ÿ“š |๐ŸŒ | ๐Ÿ’ž Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

62 thoughts on “#SFATW : Christmas in my hometown

  1. I love this so much!
    Christmas on your hometown looks so cosy and traditional. Unfortunately, here in Brazil, we don’t have strong traditions during this time of the year. It is a date we usually spend with our families, but there are no big decorations or special foods. The only โ€œtraditionโ€ i can think about is chorals! They always have presentations on churches or other places, singing Christmas songs. And as a particular tradition, my family always eats french toast on Christmas morning!
    Christmas on Brazil happens during summer, so we donโ€™t drink hot chocolate on the morning or sit by the fireplace to open the presents. We donโ€™t even have Christmas sweaters, hahah. I hope, one day, to spend Christmas somewhere else, where I can try all those fantastic things you mentioned!
    Great post, Marie ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ohh thank you so much Lais! So glad you liked this โค
      Oh it feels so weird to think that Christmas can be in summer in other countries, I'm used to celebrating while freezing in my big coat ahah, but it's so great it's different everywhere โค Thank you so much for sharing all of this! โค

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  2. I love your pictures! It’s so nice to see those decorations in your area! I am in Portsmouth, NH, USA and our downtown is decked out with wreaths and big red bows on all of the lampposts, and we have a night where the town gets together and the lights are turned on (a lighting ceremony) on the big giant tree downtown. It’s quite beautiful.
    Rebecca @ The Portsmouth Review
    Follow me on Bloglovin’

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  3. I need to come crash at your place for Christmas to enjoy this!! I was so disappointed when I saw that Bordeaux’s market was filled with kiosks that had nothing to do with the holiday.
    Haha, we are indeed very fond of food. FOREVER FOODIES. As for the alcohol, as I mention Rum in almost every one of my posts and comments, I cannot really say :p
    Fabulous post Sweechie!!!! โค

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post Marie, I’ll definitely be doing one for my country for Christmas as well. ๐Ÿ˜€ I’m not sure we have many traditions in the UK, we do have Boxing Day, which for me is pretty much just an extra day off work now as well and not really anything religious (in fact I’m not sure why we call it Boxing Day or even what it’s for. For most people it’s an excuse to go out and shop the Christmas sales!)
    I love that you have teddy bears in the window in France. I’ve never seen anything like that but it’s a cute tradition, and I loved seeing all your pictures of the Christmas lights too. Also I will definitely be trying that cookie recipe you linked to as well, I’m always looking for more things I can bake! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohhh thank you so much Beth! Oh I would LOVE to read that. ๐Ÿ˜€ Pictures of London keep showing on my Instagram feed, and the streets are all decorated for Christmas and everything is so pretty and oh, I miss London and the UK badly hahaha.
      Oh I hope you’ll try the bredele recipe, it’s easy to make and delicious ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s all right! Oh London goes all out for Christmas, maybe not in terms of markets or anything but the Christmas decorations are amazing. Especially the Selfridge’s window displays!
        Well when I do attempt it I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes! ๐Ÿ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

  5. This is such a pleasure to read, Marie. Thanks for sharing – it’s always been a dream of mine to spend Christmas in Europe (or somewhere with snow where I can join in the Christmas celebrations tbh).

    Here in Australia shops started selling Christmas decorations literally the day after Halloween, haha. There are also Christmas markets in Melb but I’m not sure when they start.

    Also your food looks AMAZING. I’m so in love with food that I think it’s usually the highlight whenever I travel, and if/when I get to France, I’m 100% sure I’d LOVE the food there. ๐Ÿ’–

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohh thank you, Reg, this means so much to me, -especially given the time I took to write that one, haha. Thank you! It’s pretty unlikely that we’ll get snow this year, but hey, it snowed earlier last month all of a sudden so, we never know.
      Haha oohhh really? Well until you can actually come and visit, you should try some French recipes ๐Ÿ’–

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      1. Well if you take the time it took me to try and make my way through the Christmas market in my city (it is crowded. It’s CRAZY. It’s not even close to Christmas yet. People are crazy.)…I guess it took me quite some time haha ๐Ÿ™‚
        Well it hasn’t snowed for Christmas for a couple of years now, it comes a bit later in january / february lately. Last year we didn’t even have snow (where I am in the city), but if you go a bit higher in the mountains there is still a thin coat of snow ๐Ÿ™‚

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  6. Ahh, this looks so amazing. I love the idea of the markets and the food ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ I think I’d be more inclined to get into the Christmas spirit if it actually looked more Christmas-y in Australia. It just looks like any other day here ๐Ÿ˜… In fact it’s normally ridiculously hot so you’re trying not to die of heat exhaustion whilst opening presents.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so strange for me to think that Christmas is actually in the summer for you. In my mind, Christmas is always spent freezing my a** off in a big coat and struggling to walk down the street with all the tourists coming for the Christmas markets haha. It has to be so different, but hey, you can have Christmas at the beach, that has to be kind of fun as well ๐Ÿ˜€
      Thank you so much Lauren! โค

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  7. This post is just THE BEST and I love it so much! ITs giving me all the Chrismassy kind of feels and I can’t wait for Christmas to come along in its sleigh! (Less than two weeks to go!) Christmas sounds so wonderful over there in France, so lovely and warm and the food has me craving so badly hahaha! Those cookies look so delicious and I suspect I may be using that recipe later this year *wink* I love Christmas so much just because of how much joy and love and warmth it brings along! Spending time with the family altogether listening to Christmas songs and having a little big feast just brings me so much happiness and I love it wildly! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  8. My fiance doesn’t like Christmas too much because Christmas Day is his birthday. He is turning 41 this year.
    We do celebrate Christmas. On Christmas Eve we go to my grand-aunt’s house.Our family tradition we open presents on Christmas Eve Although my fiance’s tradition is to open presents on his birthday.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Awww I love how Christmasy your town is! Here we definitely have a lot of decorations, on houses, but nothing really big in terms of public celebration since I live in the middle of nowhere ๐Ÿ˜‚. Most of the Christmasy stuff happens in the city that is over an hour from where I live. I’ve always wanted to visit another country during Christmas just because of all of the markets and such. Also, that food ๐Ÿ˜!! I’m hungry just looking at it. It makes me want to bake. Lovely post, Marie. I enjoyed reading it. ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Liked by 1 person

  10. this sounds so cool! I’ve never been in Europe around christmas time, but my parents just came back from a trip to denmark, sweden and belgium, and apparently all those places have really nice Christmas markets ๐Ÿ™‚

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  11. I love this post so much!! You already made me fall even more in love with France, but know I definitely want to visit during Christmastime! I love the teddy bears in the windows; so cute!! And all of the gorgeous lights. We have lots of Christmas markets, too, and that extra day off for relaxing (and shopping) on Boxing Day. Here’s my post on Christmas in Canada, along with Canada Day and some other celebrations! https://polarroidsblog.wordpress.com/2016/12/20/sfatw-celebrations-in-canada/

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Christmas time in France sounds like fun! Those teddy bears in the window frames look great. Though they might be a smothering, hazardous ball of softness at that height, haha. Those Christmas trees and lights look lovely too. The largest one I’ve ever seen in person is at Orchard Road in Singapore, which is also the only time I’ve traveled outside of Malaysia during Christmas. Oh, and those nice Christmas food! I’m salivating just looking at them. Haha.
    By the way, what’s Christmas market all about? I’ve never heard of them until this year.
    Anyway, thanks for sharing. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! (Might be a few hours early, but it’s the 25th where I am :))

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahaha, yes I guess they wouldn’t be too sweet if they fell on your head, those bears, haha ๐Ÿ™‚
      Ohh, well in France, lots of cities – and in my region all the small towns – have Christmas markets. They are all around the cities at times, it’s little wooden stalls, and they are selling home-made gifts and stuff, it depends on where you are. In my city, it’s a LOT of food, some Christmassy items, lightnings, little accessories, jewellry, … At times there are also some attractions, like carousel for kids and stuff ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thank you so, so much Jamie!! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you too! โค โค

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah, that sounds great. Would love to have the chance to experience it once. It sounds a little like Ramadhan markets here, except with more gifts and celebrating a whole other festive season.
        Thanks!

        Liked by 1 person

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