Wednesday, January 03, 2007

New Years traditions in France

There aren't really many New Year traditions in France except one: on the stroke of midnight, everyone gets on the phone and calls friends and family. (Before cell phones there was always a log jam in front of the phone as people jostled for position.) Now, as soon as everyone is done kissing every other person in the house (another French tradition - the smoochie on the cheekie) they grab their cell phones and start dialling.
The phone calling spree lasts for several days afterwards. This is why: the French do not send Christmas cards. They prefer to call.
It's nice, but odd to be calling people at midnight. No one is ever sleeping (or admits to be sleeping!) Everyone expects the call. Nowadays, there are the instant messages too - and "Happy New Year!" was flying around the phone screens. My husband made a list of everyone he wanted to call and spent three days on the phone.
I sent my traditional Christmas cards out, including e-cards that I really think are terrific. Just think: No trees were killed to make an e-card. No jet plane fuel was burned sending it over the ocean. No cars and trucks were started in order to deliver it. E-cards are instant, disposable, and non-polluting. The spirit of Christmas and the New Year lives on in virtual pixels.
(and in disembodied voices over the phone...)


ORION said...

I use the holidays to reconnect with people I might have lost touch with. I have moved so often and changed email addresses that I have to maintain the connection.
I can really appreciate the immediate gratification of calling.
BTW so your husband plays polo professionally? There are a ton of polo players here in Hawaii and the stable (where I keep my horses) is right across the road from one of two polo fields on Oahu. The season here is May through October.
One of my worst riding accidents happened when someone whacked a ball right between my thoroughbreds front legs! (I can laugh about it now...)

Wynn Bexton said...

And thank you for that lovely e-card you sent me, too!
I sent out a few more Christmas cards than usual this year and I usually enclose a 'form' letter of the year's recap plus some personal notes. Didn't send so many ecards as usual this year for some reason. But darn, the postage is so expensive!