As happens every year, the village "comité des fêtes" threw a Christmas party for the kids and the elderly of our village.
We suddenly knew a lot more people this year than in years past, thanks to the boys going to school. That made things much more comfortable.
The kids got a giant plate of snacks and a drink, the adults got coffee and pastries or clementines, and the elderly guests got champagne with their snacks.
Then on to the skit. This year it was about a little girl whose mother didn't have time to sing Christmas carols with her, so the audience helped her out with the words (and we discovered why French people are so enthralled to hear our church sing a cappella... confidently and in tune), and with the help of a little elf, she gave her mother a magical gift that made her realize she should spend more time with her daughter. The kids sang Jingle Bells ("Vive le Vent") with her at the end, very à propos since Benjamin had just had to learn it for school that week.
But then.... the moment they had all been waiting for... the arrival of the Père Noël!
Benjamin got a new Meccano set.
And Noah got a box of games.
Both were pleased with their presents (at least, they were once we explained to Benjamin that you can't have too many Meccano sets; the more you have, the bigger things you can build, right?!) - and we were pleased that we had some semblance of conversations with other people instead of sitting around like pieces of furniture like we usually do!