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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Holiday traditions

Our family has its share of holiday traditions, as I'm sure most do. Since we celebrate Christmas, ours naturally revolve around that holiday. I used to be a French teacher and liked to share some of the French customs with my students. At one point, I collected several little santons, which represent various people, all arriving with gifts to celebrate the birth of Jesus. They are traditionally dressed in the garb of eighteenth-century France, except for the figures representing the people we Americans usually see in our own nativity scenes.

In France, many families set up entire villages, complete with houses and scenery, but my small home doesn't have room for all of that. As a result, my santons are merely grouped on any flat surface large enough to hold the entire collection.

 Here is the "traditional" grouping: stable, ox, donkey, baby, Joseph, Mary, wise men and a shepherd.

On the left, you see the Simpleton, who hasn't brought a gift but throws up his arms in awe. All of the other figures bring gifts for the baby. Do you see the drummer boy with his drum? the baker with a sack of flour? the woman with a basket of eggs?

Here you see more people with their gifts or preparing their gifts: fishermen, woodcutter, basket weaver, etc.

Aren't they interesting? I love them!

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