Thursday, 12 January 2012

A post-Christmas post

Christmas has been and gone and we're back to the bling-less state we were in before.  Christmas decorations really are about bling, aren't they?  As I brought the baubles, tinsel and lights out of the box, I marvelled at how much glitter, shimmer and shine were going to be collected on just one tree.  And with Puce in charge of the decorating, it was like Jackson Pollock had been let loose in a glitter factory...

We congratulated her decorating style, waited til she'd gone to bed, unwrapped the tree and started again...spacing the tinsel out slightly further than it had been.  We took the time to have the conversation we have every year at this time.  Your traditions or mine?

I feel it's important to have a stocking at the end of the bed.  It's what I grew up with, it's what a lot of people round here do.  Père Noël in France leaves gifts in children's' slippers under the tree and Monsieur R wanted a nod to traditions from his childhood.  So we ended up doing a bit of both.  Monsieur R assured Puce that Père Noël would probably need a small dram of whisky to keep his strength up...when in Rome...

As for nearly every situation in our family adventure, combining our two cultures provides challenges for the grown-ups that go undetected by Puce.  Getting our stories straight is especially important at Christmas time, as there's more at stake and a faux pas could give the game away.  For instance, in France, presents at the grandparents' house are not from the grandparents; Père Noël goes round all the people you know and leaves presents there too.  When these presents are handed out, I have to bite my tongue and try to remember not to thank les grand-parents in front of Puce, because the presents aren't from them...are they now (wink wink).

Being able to switch between traditions just might help keep them alive slightly longer though.  Puce recently announced scepticism as to the existence of fairies, and by extension, the Tooth Fairy.  Fearing for Father Christmas, I tried to get off the topic, but the "How...?" had been unleashed and it was getting harder to find answers (how does the tooth fairy squeeze under a pillow?).  Suddenly remembering that the Tooth Fairy in France is a mouse, I suggested that maybe it isn't a fairy after all, but actually it's the French mouse...!  The idea that a mouse could drag a coin under a pillow and disappear with a tooth somehow seemed more plausible, and Puce went back to dissecting  her lunch.


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