Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Day Dinner in France

We were invited to attend a family Christmas dinner in a village about half an hour outside of Paris today.   Our friends, Nicolas and Maeliss and Maeliss' parents provided a truly unique experience for us by asking us to join their extended family for their Joyeux Noel celebration.

We walked to the Metro about 10:30 am in clear and dry weather.  Two hours later we were met at the station by car and transported to Maeliss' parents home; a beautiful home created from a very old barn over the past twenty years with much love and vision.  They'd just finished building a new home in the same village when they both fell in love with this property and the possibilities they could see in it's structure.  What a remarkable transformation we could see as we viewed the before and after photos later in the afternoon.

The children were fed early, and a beautiful white Golden Retriever wandered among us as we enjoyed the champagne and appetizers upstairs before going down into the family dining room for the main meal.  This was originally used to milk the cows and has walls that are nearly three feet thick; a cave shaped rounded ceiling stone room that is very reminiscent of the underground buildings in Paris.  The rings used to tethered the cows are still on the wall. 

Nearly two hours later we finished the cheese course with tangerines and a final toast with Champagne before heading upstairs with the children who'd finished their naps for opening the gifts that surrounded the Christmas Tree.   Many homemade gifts along with cookies, candies, jams and other yummy gifts.  We were unexpectedly included with gifts from several of the family members much to our surprise. 

Soon it was time to head for the train station.  We sat with cousins for the ride back into the city before we split and each went our own way when we reached the Metro Lines.  We arrived back in our apartment shortly before the rain started.  A good reason to enjoy the remainder of the evening at home.  Hope you enjoy the little slideshow: 

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