Maison valbonne
Revving it up in the town of Valbonne.

Next meet-up: Phoenix, Arizona—December 26th. Download PHX flyer

réveillon (ray-veh-ohn) noun, masculine

  1. Christmas Eve Dinner, New Year's Eve Dinner, midnight supper
      (réveillon de Noël, reveillon du Nouvel An)
  2. Christmas / New Year's Eve party

Great French-themed books for children, by Catherine Stock:
"A Spree in Paree" and "A Porc in New York". The illustrations are delightful!

Audio File & Example Sentence: Download Wav or MP3

Le Père Noël ne fait jamais de réveillon dans sa maison, car il rentre au mois de mai ; ce n'est plus la saison. Santa Claus never has Christmas Eve dinner at his house, for he returns in May--when it's no longer the season! --Francis Blanche

A Day in a French Life...
by Kristin Espinasse

(Note: the following story was written two years ago.)

Preparations are under way for tonight's réveillon and, once again, there isn't much for me to do but twiddle thumbs—in between and among twiddling a bit of dust, twiddling together a bit of decor, and twiddling over to our marriage armoire to check on place settings. We'll need 12 this year.

Santa's helpers, disguised as everyday Frenchmen, are here to stir up the savories and sweets. Cousin Audrey is making la soupe de courge with ginger and pears. Uncle Jacques is bringing oysters. My mother-in-law (en route now from Marseilles, along with my oyster-bearer beau-frère) has in her overnight bag her chocolate cake and some homemade "carrot bonbons" (she is also toting smoked salmon and foie gras)...

Jean-Marc is marinating garrigue sanglier for roasting in our cheminée. Aunt Marie-Françoise is bringing her gâteau de marron and soup bowls for her daughter's potage... Aunt Michou (a.k.a. "Michounette"), in from Paris, will surely have in her bag une devinette.

We've friends here from Texas as well: Phyllis and Tim. Twelve jars of peanut butter arrived ahead of them (this, after the last 12 and the 12 before that—enough to twiddle the tastebuds of any expat).

As for me: I am in charge of finding matching napkins, plates, and glasses. Best untwiddle my fingers and toes—and get to that now, illico presto!

"Joyeux Noël à tous et à tous une bonne nuit!"

French Vocabulary

le réveillon (m) = Christmas Eve dinner; la soupe (f) de courge = pumpkin soup; le beau-frère (m) = brother-in-law; garrigue sanglier (le sanglier de la garrigue) = wild boar from the Mediterranean scrublands (that is, the field behind our farmhouse!); la cheminée (f) = fireplace: le gâteau (m) de marron = chestnut cake; le potage (m) = thick soup; la devinette (f) = guessing game (anyone's guess); illico presto = right away; Joyeux Noël à tous et à tous une bonne nuit! = Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Thanks for visiting our sponsors!

Les portes tordues (The Twisted Doors): The Scariest Way in the World to Learn and Listen to French! Check it out (if you dare).

Provence Dreamin? Maison des Pelerins, Sablet. A Vacation Rental Dream in the heart of the Cote du Rhone.

A Day in a Dog's Life...
by Braise & Smokey


Smokey: When we were young'uns, my sisters and I loved to play Abandon Ship! That is, until Grandma K told us there were sharks in the "sea" below.  See how hesitant we looked, after that?

Braise (laughing): that was just her way of getting you pups to stay put, while she changed your poopy puppy pen, inside the house!

"Sharks!" (Braise collapses in chuckles whilst Smokey looks vexed).


  1.  Le Petit Larousse Illustre 2007: an exceptional French dictionary
  2.  Top 10 Ways to Improve Your Spoken French
  3. Got Nintendo? Playing My French Coach for 15 to 20 minutes a day is all you need to become fluent in French, no matter your age. The simple touch screen interface lets you spend less time learning the game and more time learning French. The game includes 8 touchpad mini-games to sharpen your skills at your own pace, and lets you track your progress with charts showing your performance learning the language.

A Message from Kristi on this blog's 19th anniversary
Thank you for reading this language journal. Ongoing support from readers like you helps keep this site ad-free and allows me to focus on writing. My wish is to continue creating posts that are educational, insightful, and heart-warming. If my work has touched you in any way, please consider supporting it via a blog donation of any amount.

Ways to contribute:
1. Send a check
2. PayPal or credit card
3. A bank transfer, ZELLE is a great way to send your donation as there are no transaction fees.

Or purchase our online memoir, The Lost Gardens