A traditional Christmas hymn in France is "Il est né le divin Enfant" (He is born, the divine Child). And today is Christmas. So the little manger in our new santon crèche is no longer empty. And even though we are far away from home and family, there is nothing empty about our lives either.
We have so many reasons to celebrate today. The first is that we know that "Il est né"! Today is not just a holiday and the crèche that we have is so much more than just a nice tradition. We also celebrate our family today. We were able to talk with our four great kids, their four marvelous companions and all 14 wonderful little grandkids. We often joke that the best Christmas lights are their car headlights when they come home. . . and then their tail lights when they go back to their own homes. But this Christmas and next, we will really miss those headlights. We also celebrate new friends and traditions here in France. Both Christmas eve last night and Christmas day today came with dinner invitations. The first evening, dinner started at about 7pm and didn't finish until well past midnight. It takes time to get through an evening of multiple courses including fois gras, escargots, duck, salads, cheeses, fruit and desserts. And today was only lunch, so it lasted a mere four hours, not including the time it took for two of us to shuck about 12 dozen oysters!
So we have much to celebrate. We are also grateful that our next dinner invitation isn't until a week from now on New Year's Eve because we are not going to be hungry again until then!
Il est Né!
A Christmas dinner marathon...
...complete with escargots.
Good friends and sparkling grape juice!