December 27, 2016
Noël in Provence: Souliers et Crèche Santons
The chorus of the famous French Christmas song "Petit Papa Noël" includes "n'oublie pas mon petit soulier" (don't forget my little shoe, please Santa). One of the sweetest French traditions: shoe shining on Christmas Eve, placing the little shoes under the tree and then waking up to find them full of chocolate papillotes. Colette was very well-intentioned, but hadn't quite understood: she got four pairs of shoes for her and four for Romy and placed them all under the tree. Xavier explained it is only one pair, and well-shined, so they did hers and Romy's together.
Xavier's dad inspecting the work of Christmas Eve - souliers full and piles of presents.
Chocolate papillotes include words of wisdom - to be read aloud together.
Another tradition I like in France (especially Provence) is the crèche at the foot of the Christmas tree. Of course our crèche is made up of hand crafted/painted figurines from Aix (Fouques family). We picked out the traditional characters, but added a band of Provençale folks, tiny lavender plants and an olive tree for the setting.