My French Life: The Swinging Santas of France

Written by on December 12, 2012 in My French Life

 Christmas traditions France

Christmas means trees, mistletoe, twinkling lights, presents, beautiful wreaths and tinsel – it means many things to many people. In most countries around the world where Christmas is celebrated there are shared artefacts and traditions that we all recognise. In France though I have discovered a new Christmas marker – the swinging Santa!

I’ve never seen this predilection for hanging Santas up anywhere else quite like they do it here. Apparently some houses don’t have chimneys so Santa comes in through the window. Personally I think he looks like he’s fallen off the roof, been left behind by Rudolf and co. and is hanging on for dear life.

There are Santas hanging from chimney pots, garden swings, window sills, guttering, wells, garage roofs, sheds, doors, shutters and satellite dishes.

Christmas traditions France

Plastic inflatable Santas – usually with a sack thrown over their shoulders and always smiling.  Some are tied or weighted down to stop them swinging too wildly; others are left to be blown about. I’ve seen them tied to statues in gardens, grinning at passers-by as they hold onto a nude lady; weighted down by gnomes or tied to inflatable snowmen buddies. Lots of my friends like to think the Santas are a crackpot team of buglars, precariously hanging on to a window sill in the dead of night lit only by the moon’s rays – it can be a bit spooky if they catch you unawares.

I am actually thinking about getting one … no I’m not! I’m just kidding. I like to see them – in other people’s gardens and houses! Some people leave them up all year round – I kid you not!  I’ve seen them when the temperate has been a soaring 40°C and the sky is azure blue – the red coat of the Santa is actually very fetching with that backdrop – just a little bit odd though!

Christmas traditions France

Kids play spot the swinging Santa games in cars, some people have their favourite swinging Santa locations – I haven’t found my favourite yet – it would need to be on a chateau I think and I haven’t seen one yet…

A bientot

Janine

Related Articles

Do the French hate the British?

Last week someone sent me a message, it read: “Good life in France, ‘you must be joking’ they don’t like the Brits. Get real.” It made me feel a bit sad for the person who sent it as clearly that individual is not having a good time. It also made me think, am I just […]

Continue Reading

How do French women stay so slim?

How to have your cake and eat it…How do French women stay so slim? One of the things I am often asked is “How come they have such great cakes, cheese, bread etc in France and yet all French women are skinny”. Okay, first of all, let me tell you that is a myth. Not […]

Continue Reading

Hedges, flea markets, radio, Tour de France, My French Life

Last week my French life went by in a whirl which seemed to mirror the actions of 219 famous cyclists who came through town. On Monday I was interviewed for a radio show. I hate hearing myself so I’m always nervous when I do these things. When I was a teenager I was in a […]

Continue Reading

The Tour de France Circus Comes to a Small Rural French Town

The Tour de France circus comes to town: I am not sure that life will ever be the same again in the little French town of Hucqueliers in Pas de Calais. Usually the most exciting thing that happens there is the annual flea market, or the horse show in which a truck load of horses […]

Continue Reading

Why do the French love McDonalds?

In the country that invented haute cuisine – just why are they so-Mcdo-pro?! News of a peoples’ march in favour of opening a McDonalds restaurant in a farming town near where I live in northern France has been the subject of huge media scrutiny. This time though it is not about the people power stance […]

Continue Reading

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.

Top