Happy 1st December! I love when the first of the month starts on a Monday, everything feels logical and in the right place (just a glimpse of the OCD-person living inside of me haha.)
Last week really felt the like the holiday season was beginning, as I celebrated my first home-made Thanksgiving at my friend Caitlin’s apartment in Paris and I can safely say I’m officially a convert! She made an amazingggg glazed ham and everyone brought a homemade dish with them (my contribution was a warm salad made of roasted sweet potato and aubergine mixed with rocket, diced apple, beetroot and sliced almonds with a lemon and olive oil dressing, so yummy!) The Boy and I also raided his parent’s attic for Christmas decorations and fixed their house up in style. All I need now are a few more mugfuls of vin chaud and my Christmas playlist on the iPod to keep the festive spirit going!
I’d always heard and read a lot about the Thanksgiving shop in Paris, just around the corner from St Paul metro stop in the heart of the Marais district. Given I’ve never had reason to celebrate this coma-inducing holiday I’d never frequented the shop and hadn’t really understood what the big deal was beyond Monica shoving a turkey over her head to regain Chandler’s affection. This year was different because a real Thanksgiving dinner was being planned by real Americans who know the deal. Plus, who doesn’t love food?!
My friend Hannah and I spent a Saturday around the Marais, obligatory red Starbucks cup in hand of course, and popped over to the shop. It was amazing! Tiny as hell and packed to the hilt, we squeezed between other patrons looking for goodies. I was surprised to hear French more than English as I couldn’t see the attraction of American goods to the people of Paris – all that sugar, c’est pas vrai!
It was of course quite pricey and many items were foreign even to me as an English person more familiar with American cooking than maybe the average Frenchie, so I would only really go again for a special occasion!
Now I do admit, putting up Christmas decorations at the end of November was abit early but there’s nothing better than being surrounded with all that festive cheer. It’s the first time I’ve helped decorate a house that wasn’t my family’s so it was lovely seeing all the little items they have and their own traditions.
Having lived in Denmark for a few years when The Boy was a very little boy, his family still has various decorations from during their time. These ‘scary Santas’ below are similar to the German Krampus, the evil/demonic/generally-not-very-nice character that punishes bad children over Christmas. (I can’t find the name for them in Danish, anybody out there have an idea?)
These gold-plated ornaments are so beautiful! They come from the Danish craftshop Georg Jensen where each year they create a special edition Christmas ornament with the year stamped on a ribbon used for hanging it up. I think these date back to about 15-20 years ago and are still in great condition!
This one on the left is a traditional julehjerte or pleated heart, a very typical Danish decoration. Apparently their creation goes back to Hans Christian Andersen’s time!
There’ll be lots more festive posts coming up, I hope everyone is having a great start to the month!