Provençal Christmas treats

We are in the South of France at our Olive Farm. The weather is warm, the sun is shining and we are able to work outside on the land until late afternoon.

There is no snow. Snow is a very rare event here. I think I have seen flurries of it twice in over thirty years. When it settles though it is quite beautiful and is usually accompanied by the sun shining across the Mediterranean in the distance.

Do I crave those colder, snowier Christmases I enjoyed as a child? Not at all. I have embraced the differences of this lifestyle and enjoy them.
Here, we eat our principal Christmas meal – le grand repas, or gros souper – on the evening of the 24th December. It will frequently include oysters, cheap as chips here, though this year we have not put them on our menu. The local poissonneries (fish shops) tend to erect a marquee outside their main shop. Here the oysters are chosen and prepared and laid out on round trays to take home and put directly on the table.
Lunch on the beach on Christmas Day is also a tradition. Plenty of oysters being served there.
Almost every family home will include its own crib and in the crib are to sure to be at least four or five santons. There are dozens to choose from.

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