Monday, December 26, 2016

Merry Christmas 2016--Paris, France

Our Christmas this year was wonderful in very different ways than any Christmas we have ever experienced. At age 67, one wouldn't think this would be my first Christmas away from home, but it was. How we missed our children and grandkids! We are so grateful for FaceTime, Skype, and telephones. Although there were some hard moments, we made it through with few tears and lots of smiles.

We started our celebration early in December by attending 42nd Street in Paris with our friends the Todds. The theater was beautiful, the show was great (and in English!), and the company was extraordinary.
Pauline and me at intermission

After the show, we went to "The Smoking Dog" for dinner--one of Doug's favorite restaurants from years ago

The weekend before Christmas weekend, we went to brunch on the Champs Elysees with three other missionary couples--it was a delicious, somewhat extravagant treat. After brunch we went to the markets, saw the windows at Galleries Lafayette and Printemps (what a show in every department store window) and had chestnuts that had been roasted on an open fire while Jack Frost nipped at our noses. Wonderful!
Delicious roasted chestnuts
The week before Christmas was filled with the mission's Christmas conferences--200+ missionaries spread over three days. Bishop Gérald Caussé (presiding bishop of the LDS Church) spoke each day; beautiful musical numbers performed by extremely talented missionaries; ham and turkey dinner served; letters and presents from home, caroling, pictures, and so much joy in the season it was hard to imagine or contain. 
Tables ready for 80+ missionaries
French salad served before dinner
Feeding the masses our homemade potatoes and gravy

My companion and me

Senior sisters and forever friends
Our Zone

 We spent Christmas Eve at the Todd's with the Bendios and Monsons, before we all hurried home to Skype or FaceTime with our families.
Pauline is the hostess with the mostest--
wonderful appetizers before dinner.

This is after cooking--tastes kind of like a mixture of
broccoli and cauliflower. Delicious!

We love this edible Christmas tree
This is before cooking

Christmas morning we went to church and then had the Todds over for brunch. THEN, we got to "open presents" with some of our grandkids in the States. It was just like being there. Well, almost.

It was a Christmas we won't forget. Merry Christmas to all! We love you and miss you!

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