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CHRISTMAS

The top ten Gallic gifts to offer this Christmas

Are you feeling the pressure to buy French gifts for your families and friends this Christmas? To help you out we have come up with a top ten list of original Gallic gifts that are guaranteed to please, surprise and perhaps shock your loved ones.

The top ten Gallic gifts to offer this Christmas
Top ten French gifts to offer this Christmas. Photo: Frederick Florin/AFP

Are you scratching your head over which gifts to buy your friends and family back home this Christmas?

Whatever you do, don’t go home with a case full of Eiffel Tower models – or at least not the ones you buy on the street.

If you really want to impress your friends and family with your new-found French taste then check out our list of the 10 best Gallic gifts to take home this Christmas.

Ranging from the traditional to the downright bizarre, there’s something for everyone.

All of the gifts listed are also "Made in France" so, as well as the joy of giving, you’ll have the extra satisfaction of boosting the French economy.

Top ten Gallic gifts to buy this Christmas

Do you have any suggestions we can add? Let us know in the comments section below.

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WEATHER

Will anywhere in France get a white Christmas this year?

A white Christmas might be at the top of many people's festive wish list but will it actually come true for anyone in France this year?

Haut-Koenigsbourg castle in Orschwiller, eastern France.
Haut-Koenigsbourg castle in Orschwiller, eastern France. Non-mountainous parts of the country will not see snow this year. (Photo by PATRICK HERTZOG / AFP)

If you’re in France and have been dreaming of a white Christmas, you are probably out of luck. 

It has been freezing in recent days with temperatures falling to a low of -33.4C in Jura on Wednesday morning, but the cold spell isn’t going to last. 

Temperatures across the country will hover around the 10C level in most of France by the afternoon on December 25th according to Météo France, with parts of the country including Brittany and some parts of eastern France experiencing rainfall. 

By the afternoon on Christmas Day, the chances of snow look extremely limited. Source: www.meteofrance.com

On Saturday, there will be some snowfall, but only if you are high in the mountains at an altitude of 1,800-2,000m. On Sunday, places above 1,500m could also see snow – but this rules out the vast majority of the country. 

Roughly half the country will see sunshine over the weekend. The French weather channel said that this Christmas could be among the top five or six warmest since 1947. 

Last year, Météo France cautioned: “While we often associate snow with Christmas in the popular imagination, the probability of having snow in the plains [ie not in the mountains] during this period is weak in reality.”

One of the last great Christmas snowfalls, outside of France’s mountainous areas, came in 2010 when 3-10 cm of snow fell in Lille, Rouen and Paris. In Strasbourg, 26cm fell. 

On Christmas Day in 1996, 12 cm of snow fell in Angers – ironically, this was also the day that the film, Y’aura t’il de la neige à Noël? (Will there never be snow at Christmas?) was released. It had been ten years since France had seen such snowfall outside of the Alps and Pyrenees. 

Météo France directly attributes declining rates of Christmas snowfall to climate change. Compared to 50 years ago, even the Alps receives the equivalent one less month of snowfall per year. 

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