02 December 2006

Christmas is here

"They don't celebrate it like we do, do they?" was the phrase I heard most whilst living in England.

It's true, in France, things do not start in July. They wait until the Christmas season. The street decorations aren't turned on until the first of December, shops don't have their displays until the last week of November.

When I left the UK in July, our local garden centre had just finished its Christmas display area...JULY!!! In July in France, they concentrate on the summer.

I am just off to the city centre where this weekend, La Rochelle are hosting the most glitzy Christmas celebrations I have ever seen. I feel suddenly submerged in a feeling of Christmas excitement, a feeling I haven't really had since I was a kid.

The adverts for toys and presents have just started in France, my children have just started to think about it, the UK news is saying things like "with Christmas just over three weeks away...shops are feeling the pinch.." That's right, it is three weeks away. No panic, there is loads of time to get presents.

My children have no activity plays at school this year, religion is not part of the French schools curriculum, but this term, they have worked. While I think it is good for the kids to do a play, work doesn't really exist at school for the final two months of the year in the UK.

What do I prefer? I am not sure, I always preferred the French build up and the English Christmas day. This year I am lucky, I get to do both.

I am going to leave this post open to debate, whether debate here or mentally.

Is it better in France or England?

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