French Christmas Markets - 12 days of Christmas

Marchés de Noël began popping up in local villages at the start of December. The first weekend in December we were busy decorating our tree, so this weekend we made sure we went along to a couple and experienced our first Christmas markets in France.

The first market we visited was hosted by Marion, from Jardin de la Mothe where I did my wreath making workshop, and Catherine Smedley, a local artist. There were beautiful wreaths made by Marion along with cards, hand painted mugs, seeds for the garden, and decorations for the home. A tombola sprawled across a piano where every ticket won a prize seemed to be popular. The boys won a packet of meringues and some candles that we will use on our Christmas table. The fire was burning and tea was served, it was a wonderfully intimate market with regular attendees as the market is held every year.

The second market we went to was in Laguépie, where we had previously visited in September for their sweet chestnut festival. This market was a mix of handmade items such as jewellery, pottery, and decorations, and secondhand items, mainly toys, that we couldn't keep the boys away from. We sipped mulled wine and Reuben caught sight of Father Christmas. It's the second time he had seen him this weekend and he still seems to believe in him despite the two looking completely different! The town was decorated with Christmas trees and giant baubles, and children were being given rides on horses and ponies with fake reindeer antlers.

The markets aren't quite the same as the ones we used to attend in London (we always used to go down to the Thames to the Southbank Centre for their Christmas market.) They are smaller, more local affairs. I would love to try and fit in a trip to the Christmas market in Toulouse before the holiday is over as it looks like a good one. Next year I would also love to jump on the train up to Strasbourg which hosts the oldest Christmas market in Europe. I'm already excited at the thought of it!

La Famille Brown

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