Suddenly Christmas seems to be upon us. So far it’s been a very different Christmas for us this year. In the past we would have been very busy at work in the run up to Christmas but this year there is no pressure and suddenly it’s Christmas.
The mild weather has fooled me and suddenly I have realised its Christmas next week. (Its 17 degrees outside today)! It’s not that we are not ready, the presents are all bought and we are off next week to spend Christmas with my daughter Louise and her family in Geneva.
Previous years, both Nuala and I would have been very busy at work around Christmas time. For me, a big rush with customers ordering heating oil before Christmas, parties for staff and customers and often dealing with bad driving conditions for trucks if weather was cold. For Nuala, in Saint Vincent de Paul, Christmas started in October so that by the time Christmas arrived there would be enough food hampers and Christmas gifts gathered to make Christmas time special for people in need.
This Christmas we ourselves are not sending Christmas cards and instead have donated money on our Saint Vincent de Paul appeal on this blog site.
Chalon has made a big effort for Christmas. There are decorations and lights around the town and on the main bridges across the Saone. There is a special Christmas play area for children in the main square, an artificial ice ring in Place de Beaune and Christmas music playing around the town. The 8th of December is a very special day in France. Chalon organised a speculator light show in the evening and people came into the city centre to see it.
Many of the shops remained open and The Rotary Clubs had stalls selling hot drinks and homemade cakes to raise money for charity (I am a member of Dublin Fingal Rotary Club). This gave a very festive feel to the town.
But this year we have had none of this rush or fuss and we are missing family and friends . It’s a different type of Christmas, we are still enjoying it and it’s all part of the Gap Year adventure.