Friday, December 11, 2020

Christmas Quotes: Christmas in Paris

This quote comes from The Little Bookshop on the Seine by Rebecca Raisin which I read earlier this year. I love the way that this author writes about Paris, books and food.

I have removed a couple of words from this quote so as not to spoil a couple of plot points from the book.

Oceane held my arm as we walked rapidly. Sow dusted the bare trees on the Left Bank, and our breathing quickened as we picked up the pace to keep warm. "You're never too old for Santa," I admonished her.
My life was a hell of a lot brighter now that the whole issue with xxxxxxx was sorted out; the shop was a much happier place with a set roster, and sales targets that were achievable. Each dawn, I was up early, stealing time to languish in the quiet and read before my day started in earnest. There was space now to go Christmas crazy. I had been desperate to drag Oceane to see the man in red, pestering her for a week now. Finally, finally, she said yes.
She clucked her tongue. "Santa's village is for enfants," she said, though I could tell by her smile she wasn't being truthful, and was just as excited as me to see the spectacle.
We arrived at Boulevard Saint-Germaine, sparkling fairy lights pulsing along each side of the street, brightening up the dark evening, and bringing the magic of Christmas to the fore.
Stalls were set up, selling everything from hot chocolate and crepes, to more robust French cuisine that made my mouth water. Roasted chestnuts enriched the air. There was a stage with a manger and we stopped to ogle it. French Christmas carols played from unseen speakers, and it was a moment of pure bliss.The French did do Christmas as brazenly as Americans! On a small podium Santa sat proudly on an oversized red chair, listening to children a they delivered their wish-lists. I pushed Ocean into the queue,ignoring her cries of non, non, non.
"Don't be such a spoilsport. I want a photo with Santa, and you're going to tell him what you want for Christmas."
She rolled her eyes dramatically."I'll never live this down," she groaned while I laughed.
Santa's eyes lit up when Oceane perched on his lap. She sat stiffly, pretending to be mortified before speaking quickly to him, and it took me a full minute to untangle her words. Something about a man she loved,who didn't know she existed... I couldn't fathom any man not noticing Oceane. She was striking, and vivacious, and very hard to miss. When the photographer nodded to me, I sat on Santa's other knee and grinned like a fool knowing this picture would be displayed on my mantel-piece back home, and I'd remember the scent of freshly baked crepes, the snow tickling my face, the laughter, and the shiny faces of the people here.
Once our photo was printed we were each handed a candy cane, just like back home. I thanked them profusely before we moved on, coming to a stall selling gingerbread. I gasped when I saw some in the shape of an Eiffel Tower, and knew I had to buy one for each of the girls back home. It was too perfect a present to pass up. I just hoped they'd survive in the mail.
"You're such a tourist," Oceane said, but her tone was mellow, and she forgave my foibles what with it being Christmas and all.
We giggled, fetching cups of warm vin rouge and sipping while we drank in the Christmas spectacle, all with the Eiffel Tower shining in the background. Could I really leave all of this? My beautiful new friends, my life on the Seine...It was becoming more than just a place I loved, it was almost becoming a home. There was just one thing I was missing...and my heart ached for him.
We wandered out of the market and into an avenue coming face to face with a Christmas carousel. Reindeers moved slowly up and down, making their way around in a never ending circle. "We have to go on there!" I said.
Oceane scoffed. "Enfants!"
It was true, there were only children clutching the wide-eyed reindeers, but still, that didn't put me off.
I paid for two tickets and waved them at Oceane. "Don't offend Rudolph," I said, enjoying teasing here. She rolled her eyes, and tipped her vin rouge back. "Fine. Only for you," she said with a shake of her head, laughter spilling out of her.


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