Christmas is the time of giving and gathering, a time of being joyful and thankful, a time of celebrating the reason why we should be joyful and thankful. 2012 years ago, the one and only God came to this world as a man, a humble king who would die for the atonement of our sins. Because He came, we are free, and today, we gather to sing His praises and celebrate His wonders.
Throughout the years, Christmas has become such a commercialized holiday that many people have forgotten its true meaning. The other day my sister asked me what presents I got, and while I said none, she replied in surprised, “How could you not get presents? It’s CHRISTMAS?” A bit ironic, isn’t it? Because it is Christmas, I should be getting presents? Is Christmas all about putting presents under the tree, waiting for Santa Claus, and singing carols? Among the dazzling lights and cheering crowds, who remembers the real Christmas story?
Regardless of the way we perceive Christmas, it is a time where joy is present in the air. Bordeaux, of course, lacks no Christmas spirit. Although it is rain instead of snow that covers the city, Bordeaux dances in its own beauty even in the rain. Although our Christmas market isn’t as grand as the ones in Paris or Strasbourg or Cologne, the crowds are not to be belittled. Although I am far from my home in Canada, I found a family here with whom I could share the peace and joy that was blessed upon me 😉
So you wonder if Santa Claus really exists. Did you know that Santa Claus is really…a thief? Yep, that’s right. Santa Claus was caught in action in Saint-Émilion! There was a big “attention au chien” (“beware of dog”) sign in front of this house, but I guess the dog somehow missed the stealthy Mr.Claus…
The Christmas market in Bordeaux is set up on Allée de Tourny right in the city centre. At night, the market comes to life as the lights begin to glow and transform the city. During the week, visitors were few, but during the weekend, wow! You’d be lucky if you could move through the crowd without being stuck at one point for five minutes!
The kids are fishing…Santa Claus? Looked like fun, even I wanted to join! Actually, what I wanted to do even more was to go on the merry-go-round…
Oh, there’s Santa Claus again, not a thief this time…hmm. I wonder if Santa Claus ever gets lonely. He should be pretty happy because there are so many children accompanying him every day, but they always leave after taking a photo with him. Does Santa Claus have his own children?
A booth selling specialities from the Basque Country and of course, vin chaud (hot or “mulled” wine)!
Cours de l’Intendance is always such a relaxing street to walk on, and I had forgotten how beautiful it becomes during Christmas time. I used to go to Andy’s place, right by Cours de l’Intendance, every other day or so, but ever since he left Bordeaux, I haven’t visited the Grand Théâtre and Gambetta area in a while, even though I live not too far away myself. Revisiting this area brings back fond memories of the first two years in Bordeaux…Andy, you are dearly missed!
Yes, there were Christmas meals. The first one happened at my pastor’s house last week with the people of the English service at church. The tables were delicately decorated with green and red, and each person even had a name tag that came with his/her spot!
Great hospitality, great atmosphere, great company and of course, great food! Thanks to the Daveys for hosting the meal! (Nope, I am not in the photo because I am the one taking it.)
I am in this one! The GCC hosted the annual Christmas evangelistic event on Saturday, followed by a Christmas meal on Christmas eve…French style! What a blessing it is to get to know these brothers and sisters throughout these two fun years and be able to spend a lovely night with them ❤
What's next? I'm off to Nantes, Rennes, and Mont-Saint-Michel for four days, so, be right back. Bretagne, here I come!