O French Christmas Tree (Mon Beau Sapin)

ChristmasTreeFull2

Our family will remember 2014 as the year of downsizing. Junior and I left our home and neighborhood, and moved into a spacious apartment (by European standards,) in the center of our suburban American town. Even if memories remain, many possessions ended up at Goodwill or Value Village. New pieces, furniture mostly, were acquired along the way to fit the new space, and create our living environment. The experience was cathartic, and even liberating, at least for me. We were able to keep very favorite *things,* and as the last few months have shown, have been enjoying and using them more.

Noelsign

Christmas to me, is avant tout a family celebration. Our family is in France. Since Junior and I can’t join them this year, we will be flying to a sunny locale. European friends will be there. A Finnish and a French lady (and their American-born children) will celebrate Christmas in style in the middle of the California desert, with a fancy dinner in a renowned French restaurant. Let’s hope our pale Seattleite complexions survive intense light and heat for a few days.

Before we leave, I wanted to bring un peu de Christmas cheer to our humble Seattle abode. Last weekend, Junior and I went to the local tree farm and picked a cute tree – about three-foot tall, Parisian apartment-sized. Downsizing, once again. A new life calls for new tree ornaments. We can’t go to France this year, so France came to us. In November, I had fun browsing the internet, searching for French-themed ornaments. Between Ebay and Etsy.com, I was able to locate unique, and hand-made trinkets for our sapin de Noël français, our French Christmas tree. Some came from France (probably purchased at Christmas markets;) others were crafted in the United States by skilled artists. I love them all. What about you?

Le petit sapin, our tree, is in good company. France’s beloved Dame de Fer (Iron Lady,) watches over it day and night…

Take it from a (non blasée) French native:  La Tour Eiffel is still cool, and always in style!
Take it from a (non blasée) French native: La Tour Eiffel is still cool, and always in style!

A couple of Frog princes stand guard too…

FrogPrince2

KeeperofBaguettes
La Grenouille: Keeper of Baguettes?

Baguettes, of course, and the uniquely French boulangeries they come from…

Baguettes

A favorite: Hand-painted on wood. Made in France
A favorite: Hand-painted on wood. Made in France

More Eiffel Towers, even if France is not [just] Paris...

EiffelTowerOrn

Parisround

But the French capital is always popular, let’s not kid ourselves…

ParisPillow

 

The world's best and most affordable public transportation system
The world’s most efficient and most affordable public transportation system

… as is the ubiquitous Fleur de Lys (Pardon me, French revolutionaries!)

It is pronounced [Fl-uhr duh  Leess]
It is pronounced [Fl-uhr duh Leess]
La Belle France is not forgotten…

Map of France: This French Girl's heart in the Toulouse and the soutwest
Map of France: This French Girl’s heart is in Toulouse and the southwest

FranceSuitcase

To represent France‘s iconic treasures, what’s better than a classic Deuche (2CV?) Don’t know the incredible story of this beloved car? Read French Girl in Seattle’s tribute here.

2cvHeart

A sight that will make even the most serious Parisian break into a smile!
A sight that will make even the most serious Parisian break into a smile!

And finally, la pièce de résistance, France‘s most brilliant star tops our petit sapin (and le Père Noël, like millions of visitors, loves climbing it too!)

"Yippie," says Santa, "I made it to the top of the Eiffel Tower!"
“Yippie,” says Santa, “I made it to the top of the Eiffel Tower!”

 

I hope you have enjoyed discovering our little French Christmas tree.

Thank you for following French Girl in Seattle in 2014, here on the [newly redesigned] blog, on as a member of our fast-growing Facebook community. I have appreciated, and enjoyed all your lively, informative, supportive comments throughout the year, and your companionship during our travels. This year, especially, they have meant more than you know.

Les amis, I wish you, and the ones you love, un très Joyeux Noël!

As always, stay in touch. Leave a comment, or join the blog’s Mailing List on this page for email updates.

A bientôt!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear readers:

If you enjoy exploring France and French culture like a native, consider signing up for la Mailing List to receive exclusive travel stories first via email, or join me daily on Facebook and Instagram.

What did you think about this article? Let me know in the comment section below, (I love reading your messages and reply to most.) Don’t be selfish and share with a friend! Merci. Véronique (French Girl in Seattle)

25 Comments

  • I love your little tree! It is tres beautiful. Merci bien for all of your great posts and I wish you and Junior a Joyeaux Noel and a Happy New Year too! A bientôt.

  • Thanks for sharing all of your french Christmas ornaments with us…what a beautiful tree you have. I too have an Eiffel Tower hangning on a branch of my tree that is very similar to yours. Sounds like a wonderful holiday you will have this year and all of those wonderful new beginnings you will have in the new year. Blessings to you and your family!

  • Everything looks so pretty!! Each ornament is so unique and put a smile on my face. I love this space of yours and cannot wait to hear about the desert Christmas. MERRY CHRISTMAS V AND JR. Here is 2015!!

    • Merci, my dear g. I believe this is the 4th year we have exchanged “Joyeux Noël” wishes. Thank you for following the blog, and for your support and friendship. I hope you get yourself a very merry Christmas on the East Coast. One of these days, I will swing by Philadelphia and say “bonjour” to you…

      • And you would be MOST WELCOMED-I feel as though I know you from your lovely blog and as weird as it sounds consider myself lucky to call you friend-reading between the lines and sensing how hard it has been at times, just makes me admire and respect you all the more-seriously I do hope we meet someday-ONCE AGAIN MON AMIE HERE IS TO YOU AND JR. AND TO ALL THE NEW ADVENTURES TO COME!!Until we next speak–

  • That is definitively a french sapin de Noel with those beautiful ornaments. Have a terrific time in the desert where the weather should be really nice as it is going to be in the 80’s next week. Bring your sunblock. Joyeux Noel et excellente nouvelle annee!

    • Merci Nadège, I accept the compliment, gratefully, since it comes from a French native. 😉 You will not be too far away from us while we vacation in the desert. I hope you have a wonderful Holiday season on the California Coast. Thank you for all your comments and support on the blog, and the Facebook page this year! See you in 2015. A bientôt.

  • Your decorations are darling! On our French tree, I have a certain number of decorations I brought with me from the USA when I moved here. In the meantime, we have been able to buy some nice ones here, but in the 90s, there was not a lot available.

    I had somehow not registered that you are from the Midi-Pyrénées! Where exactly?

    Have a wonderful holiday!

    • Bonjour Betty, I am glad to see expats share the same habits at Christmas time! I would love to see some of your American-themed ornaments. And yes, you are correct, I was born, oh, a few years ago ;-), in the beautiful Midi-Pyrénées. Toulouse is my hometown, even if I lived all over the country, Lille, Montpellier, Lyon, and finally Paris, until I came to Seattle. Joyeux Noël to you and yours!

    • Best wishes to you, and your ever-growing family Cherie. I know this will be a special Christmas, with your grand-children. I hope to see you again in 2015. Maybe we will plan a “Studio group” reunion at a local French restaurant… Joyeux Noël !

  • Chère Véro!!!!!

    I have had a very busy weekend, but finally came over after seeing your sweet comment! I see your darling mascot COCO has escorted me here to see your new blog! I thank you mille fois for coming over to visit, and for leaving such kind words. This is a time of year of chaos but fun mayhem; now that school is out, I can sit home and read or just SLEEP! I hope your school year is good? Mine is. I am teaching three French courses at the high school and one proficiency course at the middle school in the same district. Never a dull moment, all so wonderful in the French language world!

    Wishing you pleasant dreams of LOVE and family! Anita

    • Merci ma chère Anita. Toujours aussi occupée avec tes cours de français, je vois, et malgré tout, tu trouves le temps de continuer à créer de superbes histoires sur ton blog. Bravo! Merci de ta visite, et meilleurs voeux à toi aussi. Je t’embrasse.

  • I absolutely love your beau sapin with its fabulous themed ornaments. The Deuche ones are so original and you know I have always had a soft spot for this cute little car. Father Christmas climbing la Tour Eiffel is the perfect decoration to sit on top! Wishing you and Junior a very Merry Christmas and I hope that 2015 is a happy and healthy year!

  • Thank you so much for your wonderful posts ! I am grateful to you for keeping up my enthusiasm for all things French. Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year ! A Bientot !

  • Tout s’explique !! tu as déménagé ton blog pendant que j’étais en Allemagne. Ne voyant plus ton blog bouger , je t’imaginais te consacrer à ton boulot et à Facebook(où je ne suis pas inscrite) .
    Heureusement que tu es passée!!
    Bon, eh bien, bon Noël dans tes nouveaux locaux (réels et virtuels!)Passe de bonnes fêtes et meilleurs vœux pour l’année qui s’annonce!
    Grosses bises de Nice ( où Noël se passe – of course- sous le soleil, avec 23° au thermo..)

    • Merci Marie. Je me doutais que tu n’avais pas remarqué le “déménagement” du site 😉 J’espère que les Fêtes se passent au mieux pour toi et ta petite famille. Pour une fois, suite à ton rapport météo, j’ai la joie de t’annoncer que, me trouvant dans le désert californien à Palm Springs, je fête, moi aussi Noël sous le soleil! Je t’embrasse. Véro

    • Bonjour Diane. I had a very warm Christmas in Palm Springs this year. It’s a very different kind of Christmas, there, of course, but we had friends with us and had a fun time. I hope your celebration went smoothly as well! Thank you for stopping by and for all your support this year!

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