I have been staying in a rural part of mid-west France, villages with stone houses shuttered with blue, cream houses with slate roofs lining the Loire, and row upon row of grapevines, empty of grapes and leaves but still so evocative of the area. Chateaus with crumbling walls are dotted throughout.
There are very few signs of Christmas here in France. Houses and stores have tiny little Christmas trees are placed elegantly against iron grilled windows and balconies.
If there are Christmas lights, they are unobtrusive and tastefully done
Restaurants have a festive, but never overdone decor with inviting roaring fires
Local markets are the ideal place for choosing the perfect Christmas present
One early evening, driving back from a nearby village, the sun setting was so achingly beautiful, we were almost sobbing, and kept pulling over to take photos. Edging the roads, there were rows of tall thin trees with clumps of mistletoe clinging to them making them look like Dr. Seuss characters.