It’s been almost a month since les fêtes de Noël, and as we settle into the new year, the holiday season — and its traditions — are now memories.

One of my holiday traditions — at least, for the last few years — is to keep something Christmas-y out and on display all year ’round. I try to select a small and unobtrusive item, like an interesting new ornament that I judge shouldn’t be hidden in a box for eleven months. So, as I was packing up our Christmas decorations a few weeks ago, I left two sets of holiday cloth cocktail napkins on view in our china cabinet. One set is decorated with red and green Christmas ball ornaments; the other features a tiny elf drinking from a large green flask.

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This Noël, I celebrated the fall publication of my novel MAKE THAT DEUX with its own special Christmas tree, complete with “French” ornaments, some of which I didn’t find ’til the 26th:

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It’s not really a “Charlie Brown” Christmas tree (alas, something unfamiliar to my teenager) — it’s sturdier, prettier, and fake, of course. But it reminds me of one, in a way. Inspired by growing my girls blog post of late January 2012, I decided not to pack it away, but to keep it out and decorated throughout the year.

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Aren’t these lovely? Merci, Nordstrom’s after-Christmas sale!

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I love Christmas and hate to see it go, and I also aime tout ce qui est français…all things French, as you can see in my “auteur bio” on amazon.fr. Like Jenny, the main character in MAKE THAT DEUX, I spent a year in the South of France, in Languedoc, a côté de Provence. Jenny doesn’t see much of Provence, but last summer, I saw a little of it with mon mari between our stays in Nice and Montpellier, and before we traveled north to Lyon and Paris on our own tour de France. Until we return for another one, someday* — or at least, until next Christmas — I’ll display my French Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

Traditions can change over time; some continue year after year, some spring up from a new idea and evolve (“From now on, we’ll…”), and some traditions come to an end, or prennent fin. When I was growing up, I looked forward to our family tradition of watching “A Charlie Brown Christmas” once a year (and it was once a year). One of the Christmas traditions my own family has adopted is watching Christmas movies and television shows together during the holidays. “A Charlie Brown Christmas” isn’t in our DVD library, but I think I will have to cherche (search) for it in about ten months. (I wonder if I can find it en français…)

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Cocktail, anyone?

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* Sometime in the future, we hope to visit our son in Italy, and then jaunt over to Nice and Aix-en-Provence (and stay a little longer this time…)

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One thought on “Traditions: My Charlie Brown Christmas tree, en français

  1. I think your decorations are beautiful! MUCH fancier than mine — I’ll have to up my game in future years. And I think your little tree is adorable — not at all Charlie-Brown-ish. Looking forward to hearing about how the year-round decorations go.

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