If you live in the UK, USA, Canada or Australia, you are well used to giving and receiving greeting cards for all sorts of occasions. In France, we do things differently, you see.
We are not into cards much, unless it's postcards (Even for a day trip, my mum used to remind me to write and send postcards to various relatives!).
In France, as a rule of thumb, if we don't see the person for their birthday, we send them a card. However, if we see the person, let's say for their birthday, we wish them a happy birthday and give them a present. For us, there is no need to hand a birthday card if we see the person.
You may be surprised or even shocked to learn of this, but this is how we do things in France.
When I moved to Jersey (Great Britain) from France, there were a few surprises in store for me. One of them was being asked by a friend on our way to a birthday party, Where was the card for the birthday girl?
I had a present but NO card!
I replied: 'But why do we need a card to wish her a happy birthday, when we are going to see her and wish her a happy birthday there and then?'
My question was met with incredulity and horror: How could I be so thoughtless?
I didn't know that, over there, greeting cards were as much, if not more important than presents. You see, I was not used to doing things that way.
I quickly learned while living in Jersey, that there is a card for everything.
I couldn't believe it!
There were even card shops! Which sold ONLY CARDS!
This was amazing to me, a French girl.
The only cards readily available in France were for condolences (card and envelope always white with a black edging), a small choice of birthday cards, (which usually entailed flowers on the cover and a revolving cardboard circle to change the age of the person), Happy New Year cards. Large choices of cards was reserved for postcards.
Things have changed a little in France since then, as there are larger choices of cards now in les Maisons de la Presse (where you buy magazines and daily newspapers) and even in supermarkets!
Oh, and by the way, we don't send Christmas cards!
Horrified yet? ?
What we do is send greeting cards for the new year, called les cartes de voeux.
We send them to our relatives and friends, as we wish them Nos meilleurs voeux/souhaits pour une très Bonne Année.
The other thing?
We have the whole month of January to send our greetings for the new year!
Bonne Année 2018 à tous!
Que cette nouvelle année vous apporte bonheur, amour, santé, et prospérité!
PS: If you wish to learn more about us French and how we do things, in particular how we eat, you will love to know that I will soon be running a month-long LIVE PROGRAM for my Eat Like a French Woman ecourse.
This live run will start on the 2nd January 2018 and take place in a private facebook group for those who purchase the ecourse. There will be live videos, posts and support throughout. Are you in yet?
Eating good food is one of life's better experiences.
I n France, we believe that eating should be pleasurable and guilt free!
Let me show you how I have a healthy attitude to food, love what I eat and maintain my figure without constantly counting calories and agonising over what's on my plate.
At last, you will be able to RELAX around food, and even lose weight!
Join us here!