So the big day has arrived and most people are in their home countries with their families celebrating the regular way. I however couldn’t make it back this year for a mixture of reasons so I decided to stay at the residence for the ILA Language Immersion School and continue my adventure of learning French in Montpellier over the Christmas holidays. I had spoken to a few of the students on my intensive French course for adults and they said they were also staying at the residence over the holidays so we could maybe have a little dinner ourselves. So that was something but then I got an unexpected invitation to my old French host family’s house. I am still in close contact with them and they knew I was in Montpellier for Christmas so they very generously offered to have me round for a family Christmas dinner on the big day. I was very touched and accepted and it worked perfectly because the other French students and I had agreed to do our meal on the 24th. So just like that I had a busy Christmas as usual and I was very happy with it.
Christmas with the Ladies on MFrench host familyy Intensive French Course
There were three of us all together so it was an intimate little event but that sort of added to festive feeling. Here we were 3 people from 3 different countries on different sides of the globe who were sharing Christmas together and although we would have loved to have been with our families we were making the best of it. There was Estefania; a Columbian young woman who was taking the DELF exam preparation course with a view to working for an international company. Alejandra; who was from Honduras and was taking the same intensive French course as me in preparation for starting a degree in linguistics next year, she already spoke perfect English and just needed to improve her French before starting her studies.
We agreed to make a fusion Christmas dinner with elements we often had at home around this time of year. So we went to the store and had a fun afternoon getting all the ingredients as well as picking up all the naughty extras we fancied without any guilt whatsoever. It’s Christmas! We had a good team effort cooking everything up. I made the main chicken and mushroom dish and they made an accompanying potato and cheese dish and everything turned out wonderfully. We had a nice long chat about what we traditionally do over the holidays with our families.
Traditional Festive Feast With My French Host Family
The next day I happily strolled up the street to my old stomping ground for what turned out to be huge lunch. I was greeted at the door by Jump the dog who was wearing a Santa hat and was so excited to see me it felt great. I had spent the first 2 months of my French language stay here and I was so happy to be back. My host mother and brother; Guylaine and Pierre welcomed me into an already busy house. I got to see Guylaine’s parents and family friends who I had met many times before but also her brother and his big family for the first time. We sat down for an enormous traditional French dinner and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I was able to understand. When I was here the first time I was still learning the basics and although I could just about manage talking one on one with some of them I struggled to comprehend the conversations they had with each other.
I have completed two levels of my intensive French course at the ILA Language Immersion School in Montpellier since then and I could follow the conversation fairly well and it was an amazing feeling. So my Christmas whilst learning French in France turned out to be a very special one. I got to spend it with wonderful people and eat traditional festive food alongside deepening my French language skills and gaining a confidence boost in the process, so not bad at all.