10 Les Poissonchat’s Wondrous Advent Calendar – The Art of Gallantry

Gallant, adj., gal· lant : courteously and elaborately attentive especially to ladies. 

It says especially to ladies, which doesn’t mean exclusively, hence for our purposes we’re thinking of a much broader spectrum on the receiving end of gallantry. Also women are very well capable of acting rather gallantly, children too for that matter, I’ve met the most remarkably gallant children in fact. Gallantry is very French and it is a bit old fashioned, but then France is the capital of nostalgia, isn’t it. Gallantry of course means things like opening a door for somebody or let them go first. It’s letting the other have the comfy chair. It’s also telling them that they really do look beautiful. That they make you laugh and that they’re delightful. That their wine is excellent and so the food, their guests so very enjoyable and that wow, everyone is absolutely dressed to the nines, in short, it’s being in love, with your better half, with the people that surround you, with our dear God’s entire creation in general and yourself in particular (for isn’t it well known that loving oneself is a prerequisite to altruism). 

Now, it’s Saturday and a perfect occasion to go out tonight and cultivate that very Frenchest of all French arts: The art of gallantry. 

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.

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