Noël des Alpes ● Christmas Festivities in Annecy 2008

We received a booklet explaining all of the Christmas festivities in Annecy and I was extremely excited to see that the Brasserie des Rennes is offering la cuisine québécoise this year! And there will be traditional Quebecois music AND a Cabane à Sucre where I will be able to eat maple toffees!!!  Here’s the official Impérial Palace website for the Quebecois goodness. Other Christmas festivities include:

Les lumières will be turned on Friday night, November 28th, at 5 pm starting at the Hôtel de Ville. Shops downtown (including Courier mall) will also remain open on two Sundays in December, the 14th and 21st.

For the second year, a free skating rink will be open directly across from the Courier mall from December 6th to January 4th, everyday from 10am-7pm. The children’s rink at Imperial Palace will also be open.

La Foire de la Saint-André will take place dans tout le centre-ville Tuesday, December 2nd, 8am-8pm.

The official Marché de Noël will be open December 5th to 31st everyday on the quai de Vicenza. Open 2-8pm on Mondays; 10:30am-8pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays; and 10:30am-9pm on Fridays and Saturdays. On Monday, December 8th, it will be open at 10:30am (apparently this is a jour férié in Italy?)

The Marché de Noël in the Impérial Palace Hotel will be open November 29th to December 21st; 2-7pm during the week and 10am-7 pm on weekends. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays. This is also where you can see Père Noël’s reindeer resting in their enclos.

Le Petit Train de Noël will run November 29th to December 31st (except December 2nd) 1:30-6:30pm. Cost is 3 € for the day. Runs from Impérial Palace through old town, downtown, Courier and back to the hotel in 45 minutes.

Le Hameau du Père Noël is actually located in Saint Blaise, about 20 km from Annecy, but le Père Noël will be arriving in Annecy on Saturday, December 22nd. Parade at 2:30pm. For the Orthodox, Saint Nicolas visits le Père Noël on November 29th and December 6th; and for the Italians, la Befana will be here on January 3rd & 4th, as well as les Rois Mages on January 4th.

I won’t be putting up my decorations until Friday (I have to wait until Thanksgiving is over!), but I am very happy that I will have some sort of North American Christmas this year. I was feeling a little sad about staying in France for Christmas, so a Quebecois dinner and maple toffees should cheer me up.

More Free Language Resources Online

Publisher Websites. A lot of publishing companies have companion websites for their foreign language textbooks. Most offer extra exercises in grammar and vocabulary, while some even offer free downloads of  mp3s and a sample chapter. McGraw-Hill World Languages: Free audio downloads to accompany textbook & workbook (in the Student Edition section) Heinle World Languages: Mostly […]

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Remember how I complained about English words in French?

Loan words are definitely not helping my students learn English vocabulary. They were supposed to write partitive expressions to make uncount nouns countable on the test last week. All of the images they had to identify were used in their daily lessons, so they should have known which words to use. The correct answer is […]

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Les français aussi ont un accent.

I wanted to read Les français aussi ont un accent by Jean-Benoît Nadeau, the same author of 60 Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong, because I thought I would enjoy a Quebecker’s take on expat life in France. This book is in French, which is half of the reason why I wanted to read it, but […]

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English Teaching Assistantships in Europe for 2009-10 School Year

It’s that time of year again! English Assistant in France Teach English conversation 12 hours a week in Primary or Secondary schools for a monthly stipend of 780 €. Medical insurance & paid holidays. Contracts of 6, 7, or 9 months, all beginning October 1. Students of any major can apply, though applicants should have […]

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November 11

Hug a veteran today.

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Mexican Food! Finally!

November 5th was David’s and my 2 year anniversary, so we decided to go out to eat last night. I had been wanting to go to a Mexican restaurant forever (since I’d left the US…), but we never got around to it somehow over the past 24 months. Either we’re extremely busy or there aren’t […]

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I don’t say this often, but today I really mean it.


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Yup, we bought one.

The Nicolas Sarkozy Voodoo Doll. He tried to have it banned in France, but he didn’t succeed. Not yet, anyway. Maybe it will be worth money someday. Or maybe we’ll just let the cat eat it.

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We all laugh at these songs that make fun of beginning language classes and the somewhat useless words and phrases we learn. How many times in French have I ever said “Où est la bibliothèque ?” Um, probably never. But these videos also show the poor attempt at language teaching and/or the poor attempt at […]

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Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at a university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling and being an American abroad.


The 2nd edition of French Language Tutorial is available as a PDF book. It has been updated with much more vocabulary, sample sentences, and cultural information, plus extended vocabulary lists, cross-referenced topics, and an alphabetical index.

Visit the Store to buy the PDF e-book for $14.95 or paperback book for $29.95.