Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Comparing Christmases


...past and present, French and American...

Some gifts haven't changed much over the years. When I was ten, I read anything from Nancy Drew and could play with Legos for hours on end. I read Snoopy in the Worcester Telegram and waited with anticipation for A Charlie Brown Christmas to come on TV. I've not seen it televised here, but the DVD came out here in 2009 and is called Joyeux Noël, Charlie Brown.

The kids each got an MP3 player this year... My how times have changed. Look at the size! I got a big radio/record player for my tenth Christmas, along with Captain and Tennille and the Eagles' Hotel California. Here, like many French kids' song request lists, Ellie's list includes only American artists... Lady Gaga, The Black Eyed Peas...

My mom always made a chocolate cream pie, which I planned to try to duplicate yesterday, until --whoops! -- no crust. I had the serious chocolate powder (100% cacao!) But at 3 p.m. on the Sunday after Christmas, there's little chance of finding a crust, so I had to punt and used the filling for some little chocolate cups I'd had from the local grocery. They were quite a hit! I may have started a new tradition. Note the box Choco Gourmand at the top of the photo. A two-euro bargain. More coming for our New Year's guests!

We used to always get Lifesaver Story Books at Christmas, which are non-existent here. A popular kids chocolate are papillotes, which I didn't buy because they have little firecrackers in them and the kids think it's funny to come up behind their unsuspecting parents. Instead, I bought Vendomes, a good chocolate with trivia questions for the kids such as, "What's the capital of Sweden?" I love trivia... which leads me to the cheese at the bottom of the photo...

My mom also used to cube cheese for us, but usually cheddar was the flavor, not goat cheese or blue cheese. The same company that makes Laughing Cow cheese makes these Apéricubes. Apéro is a word for before-dinner drinks and snacks. And (bonus!) these also have trivia questions... But they're for the adultes. I struggle...

Example: Quel est le métier de Victor Novak, joué par Gérard Klein? Réponse: instituteur.
(What was the job of Victor Novak, who was played by Gérard Klein? Answer: teacher.) Don't know this story, but my mother-in-law got the answer in deux (two) secondes.

More on Trivial Pursuit tomorrow... I bought a game which includes the most trivial of trivia...

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