Fun, stylish and easy entertaining. This reflects the Quebecois Christmas and defines one of the province's most loved experts, Kim Vallee. Kim's bio says it all: "I developed my own casual luxury style. I like to inject the French flair into the easy going North American lifestyle. My entertaining style is influenced by modern European living." This is the holiday way in Quebec. This and poutine. Here are some fun 'steps' to a Quebecois holiday:
Plan a taffy pull, which in the past was held on November 25 in honor of Saint Catherine, the patron saint of single women. This gathering provides an excuse for single women to meet eligible men.
Display a "crèche," or Nativity scene, with "santons," or plaster figures, depicting Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus.
Sing traditional Christmas carols with English, French or German influence.
Make Christmas treats such as chocolate madeleines, iced cookies made with unsweetened cocoa and grated orange rind and prepared in shell-shaped molds.
Plan a midnight feast, or "réveillon" (which means "awakening" in French), for Christmas Eve after the mass or other religious services have ended. Invite family and friends to attend.
Cut down or buy a Christmas tree and decorate it with ornaments. Expect Santa Claus ("Pere Noel" in French) to leave gifts for the children under the tree. Plan to give gifts to friends and relatives.
Make an advent wreath and light candles to signify the coming of the Christ child.
Eat turkey, goose or beef for Christmas dinner, or opt for "tourtière," which is a traditional meat pie containing potatoes and onion. Serve desserts such as rice pudding with almonds, plum pudding, or the delicious chocolate Yule log, buche de Noel.
Mark the end of Christmas with "La fête du Roi," a holiday celebrated in Quebec on January 6. Prepare a cake with a bean hidden inside. Whoever gets the bean will be the king or queen, according to tradition.