Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Christmas comes but once a year but I thought it finished on fifth night .............

Driving home through the village, a set of flashing white party lights  brighten the early evening gloom of this late February evening.  They are entwined around the balcony of a small neo Breton house.  I notice that Father Christmas is still climbing up the wall of a house further along on the right.  It is a classically smart house giving the impression of owners far too sophisticated to have an artificial Father Christmas climbing up a ladder into their bedroom window!  A snow scene, complete with white reindeer and sparkly Christmas village scene fills the Bakery window opposite.   This is late February in North West France! 

There is not the pressure to take down decorations by Twelfth Night in France and celebrations and greetings card sending continue throughout January which spreads out the fun and takes the pressure out of the seasonal card send.  However it is nearly March!  Dining in a Chinese restaurant a week ago, the young relation humouring his grand mother by his presence said he could see seasonal decorations.  In knowledgeable grandmother mode, I explained about Chinese New Year and this doubtless being the reason for the festive d├ęcor.  “Well why is there a Christmas tree then?”  And there was.

The decorations usually gradually peter out throughout the month of January  with the spectacular and expensive displays in the towns disappearing more rapidly. 

The collection of advertising literature in the post box today includes a flier from Casa detailing Easter Egg shaped candles –“bougie en cocque”, an Easter wreath for the door, a little Easter tree with hanging white and lemon eggs and all the co-ordinating table linen that the hostess’ heart could desire.  All very tempting in spring green and lemon. Well timed by Casa for the forthcoming season and very reasonably priced too.

I notice  from this flier that cup cakes are clearly very “in” now in France because they are also selling cup cake stands, moulds and storage boxes covered with cup cake pictures. The popular little cakes are titled “cup cakes” by the way and not “gateaux en tasse” or something more original that indicates that they were really French in the first place and that the rest of the world has copied the idea in a way vastly inferior to the "Cup Cake de la France"! 

I digress … well why are the reindeer still in the bakery window and the Father Christmas still climbing up the wall in late February?