Christmas and New Years in Marseille…2013

It has been an incredible festive season. It basically ran from my birthday in November until 1st of January.

In November the city of Marseille already had the Christmas Market up with the Big Wheel in the Vieux Port.

The entrance to the Christmas Market
The entrance to the Christmas Market
Variety of goodies inside the market
Variety of goodies inside the market
Exploring the market on a very cold evening
Exploring the market on a very cold evening

I think I’ve also sang more Christmas Carols this year than ever before. Of course none of them were in Afrikaans, but hey, I sang French Carols!

Basilique du Sacre Coeur
Basilique du Sacre Coeur
With my friend Florence. We were both still bit sick, so were coughing through the songs...haha
With my friend Florence. We were both still bit sick, so were coughing through the songs…haha
Some of my friends were in the choir. Here is Linda singing...
Some of my friends were in the choir. Here is Linda singing…
It was so lovely with all the candles lit inside...
It was so lovely with all the candles lit inside…

The season was filled with fun activities. I took the Rasch kids Christmas shopping with Chrissy and Christine. It was a fun outing, scouting through a buzzing ToysRUs for gifts. Also spent time with friends, making “Vin Chaud”.

Ready to go Christmas shopping with the Rasch kids...
Ready to go Christmas shopping with the Rasch kids…
Making a hot pot of "Vin Chaud"
Making a hot pot of “Vin Chaud”

Our team from Evolution13 also went caroling in Cours Julien, singing and handing out small gift packages. It was fun and we even got to sing in two Restaurants.

Singing at the metro stop in Cours Julien
Singing at the metro stop in Cours Julien
We got to sing inside two restaurants as well :)
We got to sing inside two restaurants as well 🙂

One of the very Provencal traditions is the creche with santons, little porcelain dolls displaying the birth of Christ. I was invited to tea and snacks with my flatmate to our landlady’s house. She showed us her creche and told us when and where she bought most of her santons. Some of them are over 50 years old.

My landlady Josiane with her mother, and my flatmate Bea.
My landlady Josiane with her mother, and my flatmate Bea.
Josiane's creche
Josiane’s creche
My friend Linda in front of a santons display. They are all handmade and you get different sizes
My friend Linda in front of a santons display. They are all handmade and you get different sizes
This is my first santon. She is the "village musician". I named her Lilly after my friend who loves music and dancing :)
This is my first santon. She is the “village musician”. I named her Lilly after my friend who loves music and dancing 🙂

It was my first winter Christmas. I’m used to having a very warm climate during Christmas time. It doesn’t usually snow in Marseille so it wasn’t a white Christmas, but I’m sure I will see some snow this year!

Beautiful Marseille!
Beautiful Marseille!
Making the most of a sunny day. Quick beach trip with the interns. The water was freezing!
Making the most of a sunny day. Quick beach trip with the interns. The water was freezing!

We had a wonderful team lunch at the Rasches. It was filled with food, fun and lots of laughter. We did a gift swop and also had a talent show. Some very talented people on our team! There were also tears as many of us were missing home and the words of poems and songs struck our hearts deeper than ever.

The table set for our team lunch
The table set for our team lunch
Picking numbers for our gift swop
Picking numbers for our gift swop
Beautiful ladies! So precious to me.
Beautiful ladies! So precious to me.
I sang a popular and old French song for the talent show
I sang a popular and old French song for the talent show
Matt's parents sang Long Tall Texan. It was so funny!
Matt’s parents sang Long Tall Texan. It was so funny!

On Christmas day we were invited to the house of some Dutch friends who’ve been in Marseille for 18 years, It was the closest I could feel to home as the language and culture is the closest to Afrikaans I could find since I landed in Marseille. We were spoiled with wonderful food and also sang some Carols.

Enjoying food and fellowship on Christmas day.
Enjoying food and fellowship on Christmas day.
Singing Carols
Singing Carols

It was great to be able to Skype with my family on Christmas day.  They were all together at my grandmother’s house and I got to say hi to most of them! I was missing my brother and his family especially. I miss the kids.

We ended a lovely Christmas day with a movie night, with Nacho Libre, Elf and The Count Of Monte Christo on the playlist.

Movie night!
Movie night!

New Years eve was incredible! We watched a fireworks show at the Vieux Port and afterwords joined friends for dinner.

Fireworks for New Years Eve at the Vieux Port. It was quite spectacular!
Fireworks for New Years Eve at the Vieux Port. It was quite spectacular!
We joined my friends Martha and Fabian (in the middle) for dinner after the fireworks display.
We joined my friends Martha and Fabian (in the middle) for dinner after the fireworks display.

Here’s to 2014!

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