Thursday, December 24, 2009


As long as I'm re-publishing old blog posts about Christmas, here's one more. I actually forgot about this one until I read the latest post from Sarah Faragher's blog, a beautifully written collection of observations on books, painting, and living the good life in Maine. She ends this particular piece with the Christmas wish, Joyeaux Noel, for her readers. That triggered my memory of an earlier post I wrote about an interesting French Christmas tradition I discovered in a book titled, Little Saints of Christmas: The Santons of Provence.

Here is Joyeaux Noel en Provence from Christmas Day, 2006:

Here’s one for Christmas: Little Saints of Christmas: The Santons of Provence, by Daniel J. Foley; Dresser, Chapman & Grimes; Boston, 1959. This book tells the story behind the handcrafted terracotta figurines that have decorated the countryside in Provence, France for centuries at Christmas time. In addition to the traditional manger scene figures, the folk of Provence have included figurines representing themselves--peasant in the field, tradesmen, and artisans--all bearing gifts and paying homage to the Saviour. These figurines have become quite collectible, the author being a collector himself. As has been the tradition for generations, families prepare the crèche, or manger, at Christmas. The santons, which are often handed down from generation to generation, are placed in the crèche. Below are some photos from the book that show the artistry and tradition behind these special figurines.

Merry Christmas!

No comments:

Post a Comment