France embraces the Christmas spirit as soon as the calendar flips over to December. The villages hang their lights. The food vendors at the markets begin selling chestnuts, fruit cakes and mincemeat pies and many farmhouse's open their barn doors to sell local artisan's homemade crafts.
We started the weekend off in Brantome at a Christmas fair at La Pouge, an old stone farmhouse. I scored on handmade stocking for the kids and chocolate dipped apricots. Our next stop was a fair at Manoir de Longeveau where I bought these handmade Icelandic wool stockings for 20euro and I'm sure I will be wearing this winter more than I'd like to admit. We bought Christmas crackers filled with surprises and a birthday outfit for my Sagittarius niece.
On Sunday, the village of Vertillac hosted a Christmas fair in the town square and it coincided with the monthly brocante (flea market). The highlight of the day in Vertillac was running into Santa Claus himself. A disheveled version in a cheap suit and a fake beard that lay askew but the wonderment in Eero and Wilder's eyes was priceless. We started a new tradition this weekend as well. After baths and pajamas we pile the kids into the car to drive around in search of Christmas lights. We live in a rural spot so sometimes we need to drive 20 minutes to find them but it doesn't take much to impress the little ones in my back seat. Eero tends to be in charge of music and has control over my old iPhone. His favorite song last night was The Unicorn Song.