Noel, Noel

Is it possible to be homesick for a place that isn’t really home? With Christmas around the corner, I certainly feel that way. While I love many of our traditions here at home, there are many things I miss about this time I year abroad too.

I find my feelings of nostalgia are especially strong in December as I reminisce about the Christmas Markets this time of year. While most people tend to plan their trips in the summer months, I find there’s something particularly special about Christmas in France (& England). The cities are so festive, filled with lights & decorations. It’s hard not to get caught up in it.

That’s not to say that we don’t get into the Christmas Spirit in Canada – we certainly do. & I love heading out to the mountains to celebrate this holiday with family & friends. I just can’t shake the feeling that we’re missing this wonderful part of Christmas in Europe: the Market.

We have Christmas Markets & I’ve been to a few that I’ve enjoyed, but a Christmas Market in Europe is a thing to experience. I loved wandering my neighbourhood one in the evenings. Amongst the typical homemade gifts you see in most markets, you’ll also find delicious food & wonderful drinks. My favourite market treat is raclette with a side of vin chaud (mulled wine), of course. The raclette tartine or tartiflette are also great choices. You really can’t go wrong with warm, melted cheese. A European Christmas Market is the perfect place to meet up with friends or wander yourself. & with most of these markets in the city center, they’re easily accessible.

Raclette Tartine: baguette, raclette cheese, & charcuterie. Perfect!

The daily morning market is still my very favourite, but the daily Christmas market is a close second. Europe is beautiful any time of year, of course, but I especially love the cooler months. Don’t let the fact that it’s a less popular time to travel deter you – it truly has its own merits. It’s less busy & if you go in November, you’ll get to experience the beginning of the Christmas season. You may not be sitting on a beach this time of year, but you can certainly brag about the warmer temperatures to your friends back home (if you’re Canadian at least)!

Most of my photos here are pre-DSLR days, so don’t let the grainy low light shots deter you. I hope the beauty of the French Christmas Market still shines through. I have such fond memories of them.

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