Thursday 23 December 2010

Le Réveillon, a Christmas tradition

One of my favourite memories from Christmases past is réveillon -- a French Christmas eve celebration that involves staying up late, eating and drinking -- all of the the key ingredients of a worthy tradition. The catch was that I had to endure midnight mass first, but since that was the only time I went to church all year, that was an acceptable sacrifice.

The payoff was a late night meal of tourtière, including a little glass of Baby Duck wine. As a kid, this was exciting because I never got to drink alcohol except at my grandpa's house where he would slip me a shot glass of Tia Maria every now and then. If I remember correctly, we also got to open a small present that night. It was like a mini late night Christmas with booze.

I highly recommend réveillon as a tradition. You may already have Christmas traditions, which is fine, but how do they stack up against réveillon? Maybe your current tradition is boring. Maybe your current tradition involves trying to read Polar Express to your over-sugared kids who can't stop screaming and fighting as your intoxicated spouse is farting on the couch and yelling at the TV screen because the Canadian Junior team missed a chance to go 12-up on Belarus. If so, then maybe it's time for a new tradition. Or simply add this one on top of the others. The choice is yours!


Q: But what if I'm not French Canadian? Can I still celebrate réveillon?
A: Yes! We're not Ukrainian, but that doesn't stop our family from having perogies and holubtsi at our get-togethers.

Q: Do I have to make my own tourtière?
A: No. You can buy them all over the place, especially in St.Boniface. The Dutch Meat Market on Marion is one such place.

Q: What is that funny little line over the "e" in réveillon?
A: That is an accent. Specifically, an accent aigu. It makes the "e" sound like an "a".

Q: If they wanted the "e" to sound like an "a", why didn't they just spell it using an "a"?
A: Oh for fuck sakes, why are you asking such stupid questions? Next...

Q: Can I give my kids grape juice instead of wine?
A: No. Don't be a pussy. Give them wine.

Q: If I give them wine, won't that stunt their growth and make them retarded?
A: You shouldn't use the word "retarded". I used the word "retarded" in a post once, and somebody commented and gave me shit for saying "retarded" and said that it was offensive to retards ... or something like that. The proper phrase is "cranially sub-optimal". And no ... one glass of wine will not hurt your kids. All it will do is get them accustomed to the taste of alcohol at a young age so that they start drinking earlier and become alcoholics who beat their wives and/or whore themselves out for tequila shooters. Haha. I'm kidding. They'll be fine. Give them the booze.

Q: I can't pronounce "réveillon" without a piece of spit jumping out of my mouth from the back of my throat. What do I do?
A: This is normal, but if you wish you can call it something else, like "late night Christmas eve dinner", or "Yay, time to drink wine!"

Q: Can I go now?
A: Yes. Merry Christmas!


The View from Seven said...

That sounds like a great Christmas tradition to me. A merry Christmas to you, too.

The Traveler said...

I just woke up from My reveillon or what ever fine thing to do great tradition . When do we start Christmas . O dam I didn,t go to sleep did I .

Best of the season to you and yours always enjoy your blog .

cherenkov said...

Thanks, and happy boxing day!

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