Un Noële Provençal

Happy 2017!  The holidays have come and gone, a new year has commenced and I, like many others, am reflecting about the year behind and the year ahead.  The pristine pages of a new book, new ideas and goals.  In thinking about our Christmas, it feels as though it whipped through December much like the mistrals in Provence.  After taking a trip back to the states and falling sick with the flu for two weeks, I returned to France just in time for the holidays, leaving me feeling somewhat in disbelief that we were at the end of another year and somewhat overwhelmed with all that I planned in my mind to do.  But in the spirit of this past year, this season was going to be different; more simplistic and more authentic with a different temperament.  I decided to make this a do-it-yourself holiday. Rustic, country, simple and beautiful; perfectly fitting for Provence.

Our tree was small.  Perfectly round, ever so fresh and it scented the house with that evergreen perfume so reminiscent of Christmas.  The house was filled with the beauty of Provence... fresh holly, a homemade wreath made of Cypress branches and some of the most beautiful amaryllis I have ever had the joy of experiencing.  The tree was strung with homemade popcorn garland and gingerbread cookie ornaments, topped with a little star made of tree bark.  Our Charlie Brown Christmas tree was our most beautiful and by far the most rewarding.  The enjoyment of making all of the decorations was so fulfilling and somehow felt like a reflection of my life here in Provence.  We discovered Kismet and Loulou love gingerbread after finding their bed littered with red ribbon bows.  Happily the tree survived, however the dogs did manage to eat all the ornaments off the bottom half!

Although I have spent other Christmas’ in France, this was the first year being in our own home.  The cold weather, a welcomed change, set the tone to embrace the season with open arms.  Eric's entire family was in Provence this year, arriving from around the globe, making it a true and full family holiday.  The occasion was cherished and like many holidays full of glorious food, cooking and baking for days, conversations shared around the table but most of all time celebrated in that moment.  Champagne was toasted... a Christmas in Provence.

There was a different feel to this holiday but more so with my sentiments about it. Perhaps the result of living a year in transition, being away from my family or just the decision to bypass some of the usual holiday stresses.  Making everything by hand and making an effort to create more memories, not collect more stuff.  I have no idea where we will be for our next holiday, but know that I will carry with me memories and some new traditions from my holiday in Provence... 

For all of you who follow my blog and Instagram feed, thank you.  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and start to the new year.  I am wishing you and yours a very happy and peaceful 2017!