* Between The Sea (the Med) and The Alps -- {Pronounce: ontruh la mair eh lay zalp}

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas season kick-off

Christmas kick-off 01Having finished our Thanksgiving celebrations of three separate dinners, it was finally time to get into the Christmas spirit of things going on everywhere else around us, as the French don't have to wait until after Thanksgiving themselves. 

So what did we do?  We had another dinner, of course!  Which meant we had to get one holiday packed up and another one set up rather quickly.

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The young family
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A first-time guest

Sometimes our dinners involve groups of similar ages or lifestyles, sometimes they can be quite eclectic.  This one was one of the eclectic events.  

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A frequent guest

While we had only three nationalities represented this time, we spanned six decades.  The only thing missing was a teenager!

Our group included a young family, whose wedding cake I made a few years ago, and which will be expanding next year.  We also had a single woman we've never invited up before and wanted to get to know better, as well as another single woman we've been friends with for a number of years.

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Being African
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Not being left out

Because the young African woman had brought back some authentic African wax fabric last summer as a gift for me, I tried to honor that gift by making myself a dress from it for this dinner. 

She was thrilled with the end result and took a picture of us to send back home.  I took one of my own.

The other women wanted their picture taken, too.  We had been the skirts, they were the pants. 

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Guys were there, too
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Spanning too many decades

So of course we then had to get the guys involved, who really couldn't have cared less to be immortalized. 

Everybody was having such a good time that the women ended up taking a group picture; we each represent succeeding different decades, while the guys represent the oldest and the youngest!

And for sure we couldn't leave out the small person who managed to amuse herself all afternoon just fine.  She loved my little Christmas train (so do I), and we all found her quite creative making a backpack out of a pillow.  When she was much younger, she used to screech whenever Doc Leo got anywhere near her.  She's apparently outgrown that stage now.  And she was just as enthralled with Romea as all our recent miniature guests have been.

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Choo choo
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Sweetness and kisses
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Packed up to go
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A jungle gym leg

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The Christmas table
It's always fun setting my table for company, especially when I'm trying to create a particular theme.  I get to pull out all kinds of items I've collected over the years but don't bother getting out just for the two of us most of the time.

Years ago in Paris I made a set of reversible placements, but I've only really used the main side.  This time I used the reverse, which matched the appetizer tablecloth.  I'd also made some fun napkins, but I normally use the more formal ones I made; I thought this dinner warranted the more fun ones.  I've never made bows out of them before. 

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In the Holiday spirit
My tablecloth is regional Proven├žal, and I don't end up using it much, either.  So I really enjoyed putting all this together.

Of course, I had to take what's becoming the traditional group picture around the table.

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Are we waiting for something?
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Ho ho ho
Because it's Christmas, we grouped everybody together in the living room before they went home, and Santa made a surprise appearance.  That was kind of fun!

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Pretty finery
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A glowing souvenir
The little person adores pretending she's all grown up, and she really liked her bracelet and earrings.  My for real grown-up friend wanted to show off her candle holder, which all the big people got.

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Promise for the future

I think this final family picture really came out sweet, so I thought I'd share it with you. 

It's tough to be a young family, and we wish them all the best as they await the little brother next spring.

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Yes, I'm here!
And I guess it wouldn't be a proper party if Romea didn't make an appearance.  She's not about to be left out of any fun and potential adulation!

Don't forget you can click on any picture if you care to see it larger in more detail.


  1. I really enjoyed seeing your African outfit... well done Barb. You just need a bit more color in your skin... hehe =)

  2. Yeah, but she liked how I made it work with my paleness, lol.

  3. Another fabulous Barbara dinner party!!

  4. Your guests always seem to be having the best time at your parties, which speaks volumes about your gift of hospitality. Beautiful settings, of course!


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