A Frenchman’s Opinion of Christmas

Before I begin my Christmas holiday, I wanted to leave you with some thoughts of Frenchman Jean François Victor Aicard. He was born in 1848 and became a poet, dramatist and novelist. When asked his opinion of Christmas, this was his reply:

“What do I think of Christmas, I, lost child of Provence? Ah, my friend, I regard it as the feast of feasts, because it is the feast of love. Down there we gather round the hearth. Firelight sings the song of the sun vanished or pale beneath the clouds of winter. Verdure breaking freshly out upon the furrowed earth the scared grass blades that give us bread, in the midst of death announce the immortality of life, and across the valleys and hillsides the absent ones set out for home greetings. Walks beneath the stars begin. Bereft households are brightened by homecomings. All things at this time are in league with the heart against the obscure forces of saddening winter, in the favour and honour of tenderness and gratitude….What is the réveillon of the town, at its worst even, but the conquering and tenacious remembrance of the need of hope, of true love? And many a poor creature, in her street bravery, feasting in the private room of a fashionable restaurant, on Christmas night, pauses a while to dream of the humble hot soup of the réveillon of her village.”

Jean François Victor Aicard, Courtesy of Wikipedia

Jean François Victor Aicard. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

Thank you for your continued patronage of my blog this past year. I wish you and yours a wonderful holiday, a happy new year, and dreams of “humble hot soup.”  See you next year.


  • The Academy and Literature, Vol. 51, 1897

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