Christmas, France

Our first French Christmas, part five…

On Christmas Eve, Audra and Cyril were busy preparing for the huge meal traditionally served on Christmas Eve in France. Because they were busy with the food and family preparations, Bill and I hung out in Nimes and, after enjoying a lunch of Hawaiian pizza made by a local pizzeria, we walked around the city. It was unseasonably warm, so I didn’t even need a sweater. A small Christmas carnival was going on, and shops were open and blaring Christmas music. I got some pictures of the festivities, as well as a few sites we saw the first time we visited Nimes. I really like it there. It has a laid back Mediterranean vibe, as well as a bullfighting ring. Not that I like bullfighting, per se… it’s just a very cool looking structure. Here are some photos from our walk around Nimes:

I was glad Bill and I had brought “nice” clothes, since the Christmas Eve dinner was more of a formal affair. Okay, so I had to tell Bill to turn his sweater vest right side out, and my dress has been a go to “dressy” outfit since 2010 (God bless forgiving modal and ruching). But I did have new jewelry.

We got to Audra’s and Cyril’s house at about 6:00pm. They were kind enough to invite Arran, too, so their cats went hunting while we hung out. Audra and Cyril built their house right next door to his parents’ house. When Bill and I visited in 2014, we were invited over to Cyril’s parents’ house for lunch. Bill was overwhelmed by their hospitality. Every Sunday, they all gather and eat lunch, visit, and enjoy each other’s company. Cyril’s parents, brother and sister-in-law, and their dog, Merlin, and Juliette joined us for the Christmas Eve feast, which commenced with raw oysters! Bill surprised me by trying and enjoying two of them! Personally, I like oysters… it’s like a taste of Tidewater for me. Audra also had some grilled oysters for the squeamish. They were also delicious.

I didn’t get a lot of pictures of the food, since I didn’t want to be tacky. Here are a few shots I did get. I had to get one of the oysters, right? We don’t see them much in Germany!

Dinner went on until after 11:00pm, then we stayed up talking until almost 2:00am! Audra and Cyril very kindly served as a taxi service for us, so we didn’t have to worry about losing our parking spot in the garage.

Cyril’s parents don’t speak English, but they were very warm and gracious to Bill and me. I can tell that they’ve really embraced Audra and her children as true family. It’s lovely to see. They made us feel like family, too.


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