Welcome to the 12.12.12 Blog Hop! Please visit as many the blogs taking part as you can. They’re many and varied and there are some freebies to be had too. Happy hopping on this interesting day, the last time we get this type of pattern of numbers till 1st January 2101.

This will be our seventh French Christmas. We’ve come a long way since our first one in 2006 when the Christmas tree had to go in the room we used as a bathroom with the chemipotti and shower since it was the only place we could put it. The builders were in the process of renovating (I use that word loosely) the living room and there was either a lack of wiring or space to allow the tree to go anywhere else.  We had no central heating, despite being promised it would be ready (it finally was by the end of March! seriously), we were sleeping in one of our hovels and living in the other and Chris was still working in Ireland. We had four llamas, one dog, two guinea pigs, two cats and a lot of carp and three bewildered kids who were on their way to fluency but not quite there.

Now all the building work is long finished although Chris is having to redo all the insulation in our house since it was nothing like adequate and we’ve discovered that a lot of corner cutting went on. We now have umpteen llamas, huarizos and alpacas, four sheep, three pigs, ten guinea pigs, six cats and the same one dog, plus even more carp. We also have three fully bilingual kids, two of whom have passed their Bacs with flying colours and are at university. We’ve overcome a lot of hurdles and are thoroughly immersed in French life now, but still baffled by certain aspects of it. Quite a lot actually!

It’s going to be a first this Christmas in one way. Now that Rors is no longer at primary school, we no longer have to endure, sorry I meant, enjoy the Christmas spectacle the three local schools united to put on together. It went on for over four hours one year! Chaotic and way too long as it was, we will miss it because it really marked the beginning of the Christmas holidays. It often marked the start of the heavy snow of winter too, with us being snowed in the following day at least twice. Chris and I will have to find something else to keep us busy that last Thursday afternoon of term now.

So, Christmas is coming and I’d better get the parcels off to the friends and families abroad rather soonish as time is quickly running out … And one of those parcels will have these three Christmas Eiffel Tower tree decorations in for the winner of my blog hop giveaway. Leave a comment and I’ll pick a winner at random at 7pm CET 15th December.

Carry on hopping and visit these wonderful bloggers who’ve joined in today’s fun. More freebies to be had too.