Do's and Don'ts: Christmas Meals in France


A Meal to Rival All Meals

Christmas in France is like the Olympic event in eating. I remember being younger and being amazed by the amount of food served at the few Christmas meals that I went to. It's like all large meals like Easter or Thanksgiving were just training me, preparing for this moment. So what do you need to know to survive a Christmas meal in France?


Don't think that the course after the appetizers is the main course. Now this isn't the first time I've given this advice. I usually give it to people that I bring to my family's 4th of July party since they think the appetizers is the main course. Wrong! And the same goes for Christmas in France. Except you also have a course in between appetizers and the main course. So don't worry if you think the middle course is too small to be a main course, that's because it's meant to be that way. And don't fill up on appetizers, you got a long way to go!


Remember to pace yourself. This meal is not a 100 yard dash, it's a marathon. So don't push yourself too hard to fast. You should be breaking into a sweat at the end, not the beginning. So go slow on the appetizers. Try a LITTLE bit of everything so that you can appreciate the different flavors. And eat slow and take breaks. The meal is going to be long anyway, so there's no need to rush it. You won't be leaving at a decent time, so pace yourself.


Don't think you'll be home by 11pm. Haha that is not happening at all! No, by 11pm the main course wasn't even served yet. We were on a break in between courses to give our stomachs a break. Appetizers were served by 9pm as guests were arriving around 7 and 8. We stood around and chatted, finally making our way to sit at the table for drink and appetizers. By 10pm we were eating the second course. By 11:30 the main course. Then cheese and salad at midnight. Then we paused to exchange presents. And finally desert at 1:30 am. We left my cousins at 2:30am with everyone saying that it was an early Christmas. In total we spent 4 hours at the table. So no you won't be home at a "decent hour."

Fries From Brussels Are Not Even
in the Same Category as a Christmas Meal


Take a nap. It is going to be a long night, so I advise adults and children to take a nap on Christmas Eve. Thankfully Christmas Day is a lunch, and while you'll spend the same amount of time at the table, you won't be up too late. So nap, prepare yourself for the Olympic event of eating.


Don't be grossed out by the delicacies. Oysters, seafood, foie gras, and snails are all popular items on a Christmas menu. And while you can't get me near snotty looking oysters, tricking me into eating snails was a very yummy experience. And I've always loved foie gras. So at least try something out of your comfort zone, because you know it's going to be cooked in an amazing way.


Wear comfortable clothing. I'm not talking about wearing sweatpants, but I'm talking about not wearing your tightest piece of clothing. By the end of the meal you'll feel very uncomfortable and will probably be questioning some of life choices as your stomach feels like it's exploding. So wear a skirt with an elastic waistband instead of a zip. But make sure that you look nice, it is Christmas after all!

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