In two weeks it will be Christmas. The year has flown by so quickly, I can hardly believe that soon, The Husband and I will wake up at my mother’s house on Christmas morning in Dublin, sit down to a full Irish breakfast (hint hint Mother) and then be off to celebrate the holiday with the family.
This time last year, I was preparing for my first Christmas in France. Out of curiosity, I googled French Christmas traditions and this is what I found out (it’s kinda scary).
(originally titled Nothing Says Christmas Like a Flogging and posted 15.12.09)
OK, this is weird. I was doing a little reading about French Christmas traditions. Figure since I’m here, might as well find out the happenings of the holiday, French style. And there is no use asking The Boyfriend, he is useless at relaying this kind of information.
In France, Santa Clause is Père Noël, nothing strange there, but Père Noël has a partner, and it’s not Rudolph. It’s an evil man named…dun dun dun….
Le Père Fouettard!
(sounds a bit scary doesn’t it, thought it needed that dun dun dun).
According to my sources, the ever reliable Wikipedia, Le Père Fouettard was a guy who kidnapped three little boys, robbed them, killed them, and then chopped them up and put them in a stew.
Holy Reindeer Droppings! How the Fudge does this guy end up having anything to do with Sugar Plums and Mistletoe? Apparently, Jolly Ol’ St. Nick some how discovered the crime (maybe when Le Père Fouettard’s name was flashing in red lights all over the naughty list) and magically resurrected the children (nice tie in to J.C. there – it is his birthday after all). Le Père Fouettard ends up feeling bad and becomes St. Nick’s partner and goes around with him on Christmas.
But get this, Le Père Fouettard doesn’t become all full of holiday cheer like Ebeneezer Scrooge, he’s still sinister, so instead of handing out pressies, he punishes all the naughty children instead. Usually with a good old fashioned flogging.
Nothing says Christmas like a flogging.
Safe to say, I’m usually a well behaved girl, but after reading about you know who (don’t want to type his name again in case it has some sort of Beetlejuice effect) I’m going to be on my best behavior this holiday season.