Tuesday, December 6, 2011

happy st. nicholas day!


evreux town hall

Starting today officially, on St. Nicholas Day, Evreux is beginning to look a whole lot like Christmas! The town has finally lit the Christmas lights that have been hanging in the street for almost a month now, town hall is all decked out with lights that change color every 5 seconds, and all of the stores have finished decorating themselves for the holidays! It's really exciting to see everything lit up--the anticipation for Christmas is certainly mounting. My kids especially are already going crazy!

I celebrated St. Nicholas Day in the coolest way possible today. I went to a Nativity play in English and in French! I have a friend in Evreux who is originally from a tiny nearby town, Acquigny, and he took me to his home parish tonight. There is a small Anglophone community in the area (some people from England and Ireland) and, every year, they help to organize a Nativity play in the church. The kids play all the roles while an adult, speaking as the cow in the stable, narrates. The play is perforated by Christmas carol interludes--in both French and English! We sang O Come, All Ye Faithful, Hark, the Herald Angels Sing, the First Noel, and many more English classics, as well as traditional French carols. It was so much fun! And so cute to see all the kids!

a French rendition of the Nativity scene

After the play, we all went to a local restaurant, owned by a boisterous Irish woman. Bernadette is the most cheerful, friendly woman and she played host to a whole towns-worth of French- and English-speakers. We shared mulled wine, mince meat pies, spice-bread, brioche, and other typical Christmas treats. I was able to speak in French and English! It was so interesting meeting English and Irish people who have moved to France, and who have been living here for decades. It was a very jolly evening.

My Christmas celebrations continue tomorrow with a much-anticipated trip to the Christmas market in Amiens!

pax christi.

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