It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

The Christmas Countdown is On!

December is already in full swing and I still feel as though I'm sitting safely in November, with plenty of time to get everything finished for the holidays. Then I remember it's already almost the end of the first week of December and I begin to feel the pressure! Thankfully I managed to get my mom's birthday gift bought and mailed in time for her to receive it in Canada for her birthday yesterday, but I still have a lot to finish before Christmas.

We left a lot of our things in Canada when we moved that aren't going to be shipped to France until the new year, including our Christmas decorations. We purchased a fake tree since we won't be here for a bit over the holidays, and also ordered some decorations for the tree. Finding a wide variety of Christmas decorations in Paris isn't the one-stop shopping it can be in Canada, and we're learning that different stores carry different items, and even large department stores don't always have the type of selection we're used to. 

Enjoying the Christmas Market on the Champs Elysees

Still, the tree is decorated, the fireplace has stockings hung with care, and the advent calendars for the kids are keeping them happy. Even our elf managed to find our new apartment in Paris, although he was so tired from the flight that he forgot to move the first evening (my bad). It doesn't feel as Christmas-y here as it did in Canada, but the kids are happy and I know that over time that will change. 

We have purchased most of the children's gifts, but I have yet to buy gifts for everyone in Canada. We are heading back for a visit over the break, and I'm looking forward to seeing everyone again. I saw my parents in July, but I haven't seen my extended family since March, so it will be nice to have a good visit with everyone. Two babies have been born into the family since we moved to France, and I can't wait to meet them! 

At the same time, we are focusing on creating our own new traditions here, incorporating some of the old and introducing some new ones, which I will be writing about in an upcoming post about how to create traditions in a new place. I love the holidays, and although it's a bit more of a challenge to find our groove this year than in years past, I can't wait to enjoy everything the season has to offer, both in Paris and back in Toronto.

One of many Santa Claus statues at the market. Great for kids who aren't quite ready for posing with a real, live, Santa.