New Year’s Eve is a significant time – time for new beginnings, and time for saying goodbye to the old year while ringing in the new. This year has been challenging (to say the least) but there must always be that glimmer of hope that we know and depend on for our situations to change for the better. So much was lost this year, and we should of course take a moment to acknowledge loss and sadness, but then when ready we can move forward to our next chapter in this amazing book we call “life”. At Grace in Paris we created an opportunity to pivot to an inward journey in the U.S. as Hidden Gems with Grace, finding lovely little gems right here in our own backyard. The metro Atlanta area has so many secret places for shopping, dining and experiences that are just waiting to be explored and it is our mission to share the many gems in the southeast. Soon we hope to branch out to other cities here in the states like New York to show you even more hidden gems. Of course we always have Paris – and when we can travel safely again we will plan on creating a tour for six wonderful shoppers, we can’t wait to show you the hidden gems we know and love in the city of light!
While we are waiting to get back to Paris, let us tell you about how the French celebrate New Years Eve, or Bonnes fêtes de fin d’année. Did you know that mistletoe in France is considered a NYE decoration? And kissing under the mistletoe or le baiser sous le gui will keep you from being lonely all year long? The French don’t follow the tradition of sending Christmas cards, but rather Happy New Year cards. Don’t be surprised if you receive a Bonne Année email from your favorite French brand. It is also a tradition in France to thank workers and helpers with an étrennes or a small monetary gift, which explains the reference to the day itself as Jour des étrennes. NYE has always been for dressing up, from simply wearing sparkly earrings to all-out black tie ensembles, you will be se mettre sur son 31 or “dressed to the nines” if you wish to wear your best evening gown. I will be wearing my new skirt and sweater from one of my recent French finds Molli, accessorized with my favorite hand fan from Duvelleroy. Might be wearing my slippers, but you will never know, will you? You can watch my IGtv video about accessorizing a black puffy coat here. Underneath I am wearing my Molli ensemble (thank you Christelle from @TheBrunein for the suggestion – follow her for the very French style we all love!)
We love to watch the ball drop at midnight on Times Square. I’ve never had the desire to spend an entire afternoon corralled with a bunch of celebrators getting a little more than tipsy in New York City, but every year I enjoy watching them all on TV. In Paris, the revellers congregate on the Champs Elysées – which I know to be Paris’ own version of Times Square 365 days of the year. There is a light show on the Arc de Triomphe, and at midnight you can see fireworks to the left, over near the Eiffel tower.
Wherever you are, celebrate the things you were able to accomplish in 2020 and the new things you are about to conquer in 2021! Bonnes fêtes de fin d’année les chéries!
Some tips for the quintessential French New Year’s Eve:
Drink: Champagne, of course
Dine: charcuterie, foie gras, a baked poultry entree, cheese for the final course
Do: French cinema, family games, French music, read a blog about travel to France
Discover: watch celebrations on TV, send Bonne Année emails, contemplate your goals for the new year.