Sunday, December 02, 2012

Advent and French Christmas Trees

The Advent Season is upon us now. We have an Advent Carol Service at St. Paul's Church tonight! I'm so excited. I absolutely love advent season with preparing for the birth of Jesus!

So, as we're in France here, it's been hard not having our advent wreath that I had in the states. However, that won't keep us from preparing or looking forward to Christmas. We did get an advent calendar in chocolate here...

Apparently they used to have bats and dragons around in medieval France when celebrating Christmas...
 On the first day of December, oh what did I find?

A tiny elephant??
And today, Mr K opened door number 2 to find...

A Bear house? Two people having dinner? We really couldn't decide...

I'm intrigued to see what tomorrow will bring. Mr. K and I switch off days (he's even and I'm odd) so that we don't O.D. on chocolate in the morning.

Moving on...
"O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree..."

We got our Christmas tree yesterday at the Bricomarché. They had them in large piles in the garden section. You asked for help and they helped you pick out a tree, so kind of them.
I wanted a pretty tall one (at least as tall as my height which Mr K points out is not too tall) so that I could put our Heidelberg Angel on top and have it look glorious!

So, for around 30 euros (not bad!), we purchased a nice medium sized tree and a sac a sapin (which is a compostable golden sack used to dispose of your tree after the holidays) and away we went carrying the tree home.
Well, actually, Mr K did the carrying. We did get a few odd looks as I meekly held the golden sack trailing my husband as he hauled this mass of greenery on his shoulders over the river and past the bakery and up to our appartment.
In my defense, I did try to help carry it! But, he said it would be easier if I just carried the bag instead. (enter a dejected sigh here) The tree was too small for two people and awkwardly big enough to look funny with just one person, plus, I'm shorter than he he got the privilege to carry our tree home!

We had a hard time setting it up in our stand due to the fact that the tree stump was pre cut for a French stand. I'm so glad we brought our American stand with us (I'm sure you all have seen it, red metal bowl with spikes and green metal feet) so we can actually attempt to keep it from drying out. The French don't do this. The just chop a stump in half and drill a hole the same size as the tree trunk, then shove the tree stump into the hole. From what our friends have said, the tree just dries out more and more the closer you get to Christmas, so that on Christmas Day you have a large twig with all the needles on the floor. Fun. At least they only use LED lights so that the risk of fire is diminished quite considerably.
(Yay water stands!)
Anyway, We set it up, cut off the wrapping and Voila! 

It looks like a snowball!
What we didn't realize was that the French Christmas trees are cut differently than American ones. They like smaller trees but with fatter and fuller branches than their American friends. So in essence, all their trees look like puffballs.

Rolling with it, we let it settle for a day and then decorated it today! We opted to not have lights this year because they're a little expensive. Here's our baby all dressed up:

We might need a few more ornaments...

 All I can do is breathe in the lovely fresh tree smell in the "appartement" now. Ahhh.... I'm happy.

Guess that's all for now! Going to sit and knit and enjoy our tree. Thanks for reading!

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