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Christmas Shop Opening Times


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[quote user="Fourbarewalls"]Want to spend our first christmas in France, have invited the family to join us, the question is we arrive on the 23rd December, will any of the shops be open to buy our christmas food, or will it be too late, what days do the shops close for over christmas[/quote]

In my experience,France is dead at Christmas,however you will find supermarkets open .

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Six years ago we flew into Nice on the afternoon of Christmas Eve and found the main supermarkets still open at 6 pm, and were able to buy all we required with no problem. IIRC they closed at 8 pm. The shellfish stall was under siege.

The main cities are quite lively at Christmas.

Regards

Pickles

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Food shops especially the market open on the morning of the 25th and of course the 26th is not a holiday unless it falls on a Sunday, in which case it is the same as a normal Sunday.

On the other hand many people will have ordered or reserved their main dish such as a 'capon'

Many families have a main meal on the evening of the 24th.

One of the great joys of Christmas is France is that if you aren't in a family you can more or less ignore it..

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The supermarkets will be open on Christmas Eve as previously stated.  However, I would get there reasonably early or there will be a limited amount of fresh stuff left.   I presume you are planning a French-style grande bouffe, rather than English Christmas dinner - some items (such as ready-prepared stuffing, mincemeat, Christmas pudding etc etc) will be almost impossible to pick up.  Plenty of foie gras and things containing chestnuts though....

Fi

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[quote user="NormanH"].
One of the great joys of Christmas is France is that if you aren't in a family you can more or less ignore it..
[/quote]

And be ignored most of the rest of the year especially June, July and August.

I know what you are saying about ignoring Christmas, in the UK it is impossible to get away from the commercialism being pumped at you from all directions.

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It seems quite commercial in France too but is certainly easily ignored if that's what you want to do.  The great thing here, imo, is that it really does only last for one day and then we're back to normal again.  Thus, fourbarewalls, you can shop on Christmas Eve for one day's food and start again on Boxing Day.  I have never understood why people seem to shop for Christmas as though there were a month-long seige in the offing. 

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To get back to the OP's question - shops will be open Christmas Eve, but as most French families have their Christmas meal on Christmas Eve (and often again the next day!!!), you will find that the supermarkets shut earlier than usual - possibly 4pm, or 6pm instead of the usual 8pm.  If you were wanting to eat out on Christmas Eve (which I think from your question you are not) you will find many restaurants shut, and it is wise to check all over the holiday period that a restaurant will be open, as many shut for the period from 24 Dec - 6 Jan.  Even in tourist areas this can  happen - we were caught this way in Carcassonne one Christmas (before we lived here).  It is always wise to book restaurants over the "festive" period, especially for Christmas Day and New Year Eve and Day meals, as they do specials (when open) and it is better to book.

As already said, offices and shops will be open again 26 Dec, but again, supermarkets often close early for New Year's Eve (as per Christmas Eve), and NYDay is a holiday, and supermarkets may well be shut then too.

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[quote user="Clair"][quote user="NormanH"]One of the great joys of Christmas is France is that if you aren't in a family you can more or less ignore it.[/quote]
[:D]
How true and thank goodness for that!
[/quote]

For me, nice long walk with OH and Dog, taking some food in a rucksack.  Then, a cheque to Oxfam to assuage the guilt of being thoroughly selfish and sparing no thought for others![:P]

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