Yesterday, we kicked off the Christmas festivities by heading into Brest to see the Christmas market.
There seemed to be a Giant's House theme going on.
We all loved the giant bench with an equally giant gingerbread man perched on the end.
Christmas selfie !!
In the shopping centre, there were two daredevil Santas on ropes, swinging between the different floors to hand out sweets
And not just to the kids !
There were a few artisan shacks, selling unique Christmas gifts, and we were very impressed with this one, making works of art out of old records.
All you need is a precision cutter and a lot of imagination.
This one would have been perfect for Beatles fan, Madhouse Grandad, for Christmas.
Heading back to the house, the festive dinner table had already been laid out.
At about 7pm, the kids were all sent upstairs to look out of the window for Father Christmas's aeroplane. This gave the grown-ups five minutes to go and grab all the Christmas gifts from the various cars and stash them under the tree. Then someone rings the doorbell and the grown-ups shout that he's been. The kids don't need to be told twice - they came charging down the stairs to see what was under the tree.
"Wow, there's loads !" With five kids and six adults in the house, it did make an impressive pile !
Big smiles all round. Phew !
"Wow, look Mum ... I've got a CaliPets !"
"Muuuuuuum .... I've got TWO CaliPets !!"
Santa did a great job this year (as usual) and everybody seemed very pleased with their presents.
Pierre was particularly taken with the chocolate apparently !
"Look at all my presents Mum ... I've counted and there are twenty two !!" (I think he must have counted each of the chocolates separately !)
Pierre got two pairs of slippers and couldn't decide which ones to wear first so he put on one of each ! Juliette had an impressive haul too !
After drinks and a shedload of nibbles, it was time to start on the serious eating. The starter (yes, this was just the starter !) was a platter of seafood - well, we are in Brittany after all ! In the morning, we had been to the shop in a nearby town that sells live oysters, crabs and lobsters plucked fresh from the sea. The kids were fascinated and horrified in equal measures to see the shopping bags at people's feet moving as they waited to pay !
We'd brought a box of crackers with us which the French side of the family weren't familiar with.
I did warn them that they'd go bang but the elderly neighbour sitting next to me almost leapt out of her seat !!
Those who wanted them were served half a dozen oysters. Sophie doesn't like seafood so she had a slice of ham filled with macédoine, peas and carrots in mayonnaise. After the oysters and seafood, there was langouste (crayfish or spiny lobster) with rice and Hollandaise sauce. Sophie opted for a bowl of leftover mashed potato from lunch, which made us all laugh !
And there was still dessert to come - two Yule logs and a huge ice cream bombe.
We still have an English Christmas to look forward to next week too - just one of the perks of being a dual-nationality family !
Whatever you're getting up to today and wherever you are in the world, have a wonderful Christmas !