4 Les Poissonchat’s Wondrous Advent Calendar – The Nativity Scene

Joseph still bows to the pillar

Another quintessential ingredient to a Very Merry French Christmas is the Crèche de Noel. The Nativity Scene. You just simply must visit one, the path to a French Christmas irremediably leads past the Nativity Scene. Usually they’re put up in churches or, out here in the countryside, in the old village lavoirs, the washhouses of yore. Sometimes they’re also enacted, that’s the Crèche Vivante, the living crèche.

Ours is infallibly set up in the porch of the church with an abundance of fir sprigs and since times immemorial has a very peculiar set up, being: Father Joseph kneeling, a little lost, his eyes sternly gazing at whoever comes down Grande Rue, while one of the kings has taken to replace him at guarding the crib (the second king has a habit of dropping flat over, while the third one reverently bows to the great right hand side pillar of the porch; whoever sets them up might have had a pass at the catechism). 

Also baby Jesus is not there until the night of the 24th, when obviously he was born, so it makes sense, right. Perhaps Joseph thinks he comes down the Grand Rue and that’s why he’s watching it like a cracked picket. Now I’m thinking about it he probably is correct because as far as I’m concerned it’s the lady living at the end of Grande Rue who puts it all together including baby Jesus. 

Now I have made a video of the scene but the blog doesn’t let me upload it here, but I’ve put it on my instagram.

This is Les Poissonchat’s Wondrous Advent Calendar! Advent calendars are a huge tradition where I come from: you make little gifts for your loved ones every day until Christmas Day, fourandtwenty little surprises. The advent calendars come in beautifully old fashioned prints on cardboard, with extra glitter, and each day there’s a paper door waiting for you to pry open. Others are more elaborate, pretty baskets filled with twenty four numbered parcels, decorated with red velvet ribbons. The one I’m making for you this season is altogether a different one, and, quite obviously, it’s about beloved France, Christmas in France, and after all, what it takes to celebrate a proper French Christmas.

2 thoughts on “4 Les Poissonchat’s Wondrous Advent Calendar – The Nativity Scene

  1. Yes we have similar Nativities here too. The really funny ones are the Nativity plays which the school children do, the costumes are wonderful and the children really play their parts with feeling! Xxx

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