A French Christmas Market
The very first thing I bought at my first French Christmas market was this mistletoe, called gui in French. It’s the freshest I’ve ever seen, with plump glistening berries that make you want to pucker right up. I carried it through the market over my head, in case it got crushed, and wondered whether I’d get any extra kisses. But no, all I got was smiles, which was, in fact and counter to one’s romantic fantasies, probably better than being kissed by the average French stranger.
Being France, there was a lot of foie gras for sale
and even escargots.
For entertainment there were costumed dancers twirling sedately,
a potter demonstrating a wheel that he turned with a stick,
pony rides for the kids,
and a strolling minstrel Santa band.
On the way home we stopped by the temporary ice rink that just opened for Christmas.
Heaps of kids were piled on the ice with a mad dash of other kids trying not to fall on top of them. Or maybe they were actually trying to pile on, as if it were rugby on ice. A French kid normally won’t meet a stranger’s eye on the street, but each and every kid, at they slammed into the end of the rink where we were standing, flashed a triumphantly pink-cheeked grin, as if to say “Hey, I’m out in the freezing cold having the best possible time, and when I finally fall on my last heap of the day, I’ll probably be having escargots for supper. Don’t you wish you were me?”