Christmas, pronouns and tabacs: 6 essential articles for life in France

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Christmas, pronouns and tabacs: 6 essential articles for life in France
Christmas is coming... (Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP)

This week’s rundown of must-reads from The Local takes a deep dive into Christmas traditions, talks pronouns, counts down the days to citizenship, and explains the important role of tabacs


Decembre has arrived in France, which – as the song tells us – is the most wonderful time of the year.

But before the Christmas bells really begin to chime, there’s a little bit of monthly admin to do. From tax deadlines and a controversial immigration bill to Christmas bonuses and festivals, here's what changes in France in December 2023.

What changes in France in December 2023

France is a country of traditions – and Christmas is no exception. From seafood banquets to traditional desserts, via the best things to drink and snack on, here's how to create a traditional French festive dinner.

10 things that make a traditional French Christmas dinner

One of the not-so-great seasonal traditions for many foreigners living in France is the annual game of, ‘will our gifts to family back home arrive in time’? To help ease your nerves a little, we’ve come up with a little guide.

When to send Christmas gifts from France

Changing the subject, in more ways than one…

It's become something of a 'culture war' in the Anglophone world, but the conversation about a person's pronouns is less incendiary in France, though there is still confusion around the issue – especially how to incorporate gender-neutral or non-binary terms in the very gendered French language.


Reader question: Do the French change their pronouns?

A cornerstone of France’s culture, the tabac has long been a place for more than just cigarette shopping. Paying bills and fines – and soon even purchasing ammunition – are just some of the services that tobacconists offer.

Why the tabac is essential to life in France - even if you don't smoke

If you see your future in France then you might be considering applying for French citizenship - but applications based on residency require a certain length of stay in the country. We look at what counts towards your citizenship.

When can I start counting my residency in France towards citizenship?



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