In Provence, Christmas is a magical and sparkling moment, both unique and simple. Traditions of the region are mixed adapted for families. The house is dressed in its finest clothes, the trees are adorned with a thousand red and gold lights; smells of cinnamon, oranges, and gingerbread mingle in the home and create a magical atmosphere.
Christmas in Provence is above all a moment for the family, where we take the time to slow down and enjoy good meals in good company. Holiday preparation is a family affair; while some decorate the Christmas tree, others prepare foie gras and desserts. The key is to be together and to live in the moment.
The Christmas Market is also emblematic of the holiday. It is a place where you can find ingredients to make the famous Thirteen Desserts, such as dates, dried fruit and nuts called “mendiants”, nougat, marzipan or the famous “pompes à l’huile”, a sweet brioche flavored with olive oil and dried apricots. Serving various sweets and candy on the Christmas Eve table has always been a common practice in the south of France. Then, in order to preserve the Provencal heritage, a list was created, and it was more or less decided that, in honor of Christ and his twelve apostles, there would be thirteen desserts. The Thirteen Desserts are an important tradition in Provence.
"It speaks, even to those who are not religious, of love, family, sharing and warmth."
The nativity scene (crèche) is also an important part of the Christmas holiday. In Provence, nativity scenes are true works of art decorated with santons, small clay figurines that depict scenes from the nativity. The Three Wise Men are pictured alongside all the inhabitants of a Provençal village, bringing gifts to the baby Jesus: bakers, fishermen, blacksmiths, etc., - all the Provence artisans are represented.
In Aix, Maison Fouque has been crafting world-renowned handmade santons for four generations.
To bring some magic to your tablescape or holiday vignettes, we suggest our Bastide Ambre Soir candle to create a dreamlike atmosphere, thanks to its enchanting and oriental fragrance. Its hand blown glass will offer a touch of soft and warm light to illuminate your holiday decor. A winning gift for hosts and hostesses, you may be tempted to keep one for yourself as well.
During Advent in Provence, it is common to invite friends and family to celebrate together. If you wish to thank your hosts, our Ambre d’Or pot pourri is the perfect gift for the holidays. Its golden crystals, infused with the warm fragrance Ambre d'Or, have enchanted our homes for over 25 years.
In the end, Christmas in Provence is an ode to what we cherish the most at Bastide: family, simplicity, and finding joy in the little things in life. We wish you and yours the warmest joy this holiday season and hope that you will be able to slow down and cherish the small moments, as we pursue #laviebastide.