Preparing for Christmas, something I cherish, so resplendent with memories and nostalgia. Traditions and reminiscences of your own childhood when everything seemed magical and then the childhood of your children, when you tried to recreate that same magic for them.

Christmas shop front decorating in Lourmarin Provence, FranceWatching Christmas preparations unfold all round me in Provence, there is scare evidence of the frenzied consumerism that can swallow you whole if you allow it to. Here things are more understated and calmer.
French Christmas banner in Lourmarin, Provence, FranceThe winding streets of Lourmarin are garlanded with subtle strings of white lights; shop doorways swathed with evergreen branches and shop windows Christmas shop window, fluffy sheep in Lourmarin, Provence, Francedisplaying minature pine trees, candles or fluffy minature sheep, suggestive of a stable long ago.
On streets comers stepladders hold brightly wrapped ‘presents’ advertising the local shops and the festivities to come.
Driving through the countryside Noel sapins (Christmas trees) are available for purchase and each weekend there are Marches de Noel to explore. Some simple, home spun affairs in local primary schools, others are held outdoors under fragrant pine trees.

At one we listened in amusement to ‘Santa’s elves’ singing Christmas Disney cheer in French, the world has become such a global village! We then stood incredulous watching a stunning set of puppets tell the story of making wine barrels!
Provencal puppets making wine barrels near Cadanet, Provence, France

Bigger towns like Avignon and Aix-en -Provence bustle, each with its permanent, December Marche de Noels. Attractive wooden stalls full of temptations to entice; wooly hats and scarves, wooden toys, handmade crafts, soaps and lavender, delicacies of the region and France, foie gras, nougat and cheeses. Everywhere holds the expectation of Christmas, my special time of year

Restaurant doorway garlanded for Christmas in Avignon, Provence, France

Download The Lourmarin Travel Guide to learn more about this beautiful region of Provence