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Christmas in France – What to expect

Just like everywhere else in the world, Father Christmas (known as Père Noël or Papa Noël in France) brings gifts to children who have been well-behaved on Christmas Day. The sapin de Noël (Christmas tree) is the main decoration in homes, streets, shops, and offices. On le Réveillon (Christmas Eve), children leave a pair of shoes out under the Christmas tree for Father Christmas to bring them presents and fill up their shoes. Unlike in the UK and many other countries, French people tend to exchange gifts on Christmas Eve, rather than Christmas Day, although kids do receive their presents from Father Christmas on Christmas Day.

 

As France is well-known for its cuisine, it’s no surprise that Christmas is a very food orientated affair! The main Christmas meal takes place on the 24th December, and it’s not just a meal, but a feast of several courses. It usually begins with champagne, and is followed by foie gras, caviar, smoked salmon or oysters. Seafood is a very popular choice at Christmas, as well as the famous escargots (snails!), which are served with garlic butter or in puff pastry vol-au-vents.

 

For the main course, the French often eat turkey served with a chestnut stuffing. As usual, a cheese course follows the main event, and it is of course served with good quality French bread. No French feast would be complete without pastry or something sweet and the typical Christmas dessert is bûche de Noël (Yule log). This is typically made by rolling chocolate sponge with buttercream frosting and decorating it to resemble a log! This French Christmas dinner can often last for hours, so if you’re going to experience a French Christmas this year, get ready to be sat at the table for a few hours (and to get very full)!


Vous or Tu : Which one do I use?!

The subject pronouns Tu and Vous can be quite confusing for English speakers when they are first learning French, considering we only have one subject pronoun to mean you in English. However, once you get your head around how to use it, you will see it’s not as difficult as…

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Pronunciation

PRONUNCIATION   There is nothing worse than knowing the right word but once you pronounce it, people don’t understand you !! So let’s have a look at a few pronunciation rules. Once you know how to pronounce the word, your brain identifies it very rapidly when it hears it, so by…

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VOUS vs TU

VOUS or TU ??   How embarrassing not to know which one to use ? Is there a rule, how do the French know which one to use ?   You are speaking to an adult : If the person is a family member = TU If the person is not a family member…

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Grammar for Dummies Nous vs On

Nous / On    What’s the difference bewteen « nous » and « on » ? Is there any ? NOUS = ON In reality in 90% of the cases, they both mean « we » in English. When speaking, the French tend to use less and less the « nous » form as it is always longer to pronounce. Give…

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All courses available either in person or via Skype or Telephone.  Please contact us for more information

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