Bonne Année! Et Meilleurs Voeux en 2016!
(Happy New Year! And Best Wishes in 2016!)
Whew! If possible, shopping on New Year’s Eve day for everything you need for your evening celebration is worse than Christmas Eve! The market vendors scramble to satisfy their harried customers. Holiday market days in France are bustling family affairs with babies in strollers, dogs on leashes, grandparents with canes, and neighbors greeting one another with kisses on the cheek. Almost everyone is out to buy something special for their evening repast. Here’s what filled the market baskets in my town, 20 minutes west of Paris:
Oysters, fresh fish and lemons; foie gras and nut-studded breads; Boudin blanc sausages and various fattened fowl; platters of at least five assorted cheeses, bien sûr; and candied chestnuts; a belated bûche de Noël or an early galette des rois–and, of course, Champagne! Rounding out the shopping spree were fancy chocolates and bouquets of flowers. Whether going out in style, or staying in to watch movies and finish this year’s 1000-piece puzzle, the New Year’s Eve meal in France is paramount.
My family is more often than not the “staying in” type and we’re ready with food and movies and “Bananagrams!” And, we’re making resolutions, too. In 2016, I hereby resolve to renew my blogging efforts and post more often and regularly!
In France, the custom is to wish everyone you see “Bonne Année!” when you see them for the first time in the New Year–but NOT before! Before New Year’s Day, it’s usually Joyeuses Fêtes or Happy Holidays. Since the French send many more New Year’s greeting cards than Christmas ones, most folks will be sending their “Meilleurs Voeux” (Best Wishes) for a wonderful New Year all through January. (TIP: A tourist here might find picking up a box of these New Year’s greeting cards a fun, unique and thoughtful souvenir to take back home and send to friends during January—you can’t get a souvenir more “authentic” than that!)
I wish peace, happiness, health and prosperity to you all in 2016. Happy New Year!