The countdown to Christmas

Christmas Tree Dec 2024

The countdown to Christmas. Not long to go. How are your preparations going? I have had to prepare early this year as we are having our family lunch this Sunday and then getting in the car and heading to France. We have kindly been invited to spend Christmas Day with friends in Grimaud.

As usual, we will be breaking our twelve-hour journey near Beaune.

I am looking forward to a break and a rest. I know that many of us now do a lot of our shopping online. In some ways this does save time, maybe it is because we now live in a newbuild flat and several of the couriers seem to have difficulty finding us which on a couple of occasions has resulted in my having to go to a pick-up point. I would be interested to know what you think. Do you like to go to the shops or prefer to shop from the comfort of your own home?

The countdown to Christmas:

I intend to put my feet up over the holidays. Below I have listed some books I have either already read or intend to download to my Kindle. Also, videos that I have enjoyed.

Death on the Scotland Express. I downloaded this to audible. It is a great fun old fashioned “who done it” a la Agatha Christie.

Other books that I have recently read and loved are:

The Echoes of Love – An incredible love story set in Crete during WW2.

The Quarantine Station – Set in Australia and links events of 1918 to 2019 when an elderly grandmother shares her story with her granddaughter.

The Secret of Villa Alba is Set in Sicily and links a mysterious event that took place in 1968 to the present day when the Villa begins to reveal its secrets.

The last list of Mabel Beaumont I found this a heartwarming feel feel-good book about female friendship. I would highly recommend it.

Secrets of the Italian Island (Sisters of War book 1). The first part of a trilogy is set at the onset of WW2. The scene is set in a beautiful castle off the coast of Italy owned by the wealthy Parissi family. Three sisters arrive there in a small boat. The life there is glamorous until the Germans invade.

The gift to the Italian Island Italy (Sisters of War book 2). One of the sisters escapes to a nearby island and the drama continues.

Some movies for you to enjoy:

You can watch the above on Netflix or Amazon Prime

I loved this film. I found it very moving.

Some ideas of how to snuggle up warm whilst relaxing watching a movie or reading a good book.

Fluffy knit lounge set

Snuggle up with these heated throws Dreamland luxury heated throw



  1. Eleni
    15th December 2023 / 15:29

    Josephine, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

  2. PatB
    15th December 2023 / 15:38

    Thank you for your helpful, interesting posts. I am very selective what I order online but have been amazed how quickly they are delivered. But my condo building is 18 years old and love that the front desk accepts deliveries. Have a lovely Xmas and hopefully warm weather in France.

  3. Lisa
    15th December 2023 / 15:40

    Thank you for the inspiration and good cheer, Josephine; it’s always a pleasure to read your posts! I prefer shopping for clothing, home goods and gifts in person—though many small shops where I live have closed since the pandemic began, and there are fewer options unless one drives an hour+ away—to shopping online, but do my best to be discerning with online shopping. My Christmas tree is looking festive, bringing so much light and beauty to my home. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all! 🙂

  4. Fran Williams
    15th December 2023 / 15:56

    Happy Christmas Josephine
    We live on the Isle of Wight and try to support local businesses as much as possible. However, Amazon is extremely helpful!
    Thank you so much for your very enjoyable posts.
    Wishing you a wonderful time in la belle France and a peaceful and healthy 24!

  5. Sandra
    15th December 2023 / 16:03

    Wishing you a wonderful holiday in France. Thanks for all of your lovely posts.

  6. Penelope
    15th December 2023 / 19:27

    I’m glad to hear you are getting together with your family before Christmas. I literally have to make an appointment with my three adult children for a pre-Christmas drinks and appies evening! But when it happens it is such a joy to have everyone together. Best wishes to you and your family Josephine.

  7. Janet Higgins
    15th December 2023 / 23:04

    Your Christmas tree is beautiful. Thank you for the reading, viewing suggestions. Best wishes for a pleasant holiday season.

    16th December 2023 / 00:03

    Hi Josephine. I have enjoyed reading your posts this year and the inspiration from your fashion knowledge. Re shopping online, as I get older I find it very helpful to shop online particularly before Christmas. I have also bought a lot of my fashion items online from outside my country of New Zealand and seem to have mastered the art of selecting the correct sizing as I have never had to return anything. I wish you and your family peace and joy this Christmas and do keep on blogging.

  9. Paula
    16th December 2023 / 01:28

    Thank you for the thoughtful post. Have a wonderful Christmas.

  10. Cheryl
    16th December 2023 / 04:46

    Merry Christmas! Wishing you a wonderful holiday season, and a happy, fun-filled 2024.
    Christmas in France…sounds glorious!

  11. Joyce Penny
    16th December 2023 / 05:26

    I live in an outback desert town in Western Australia 450 kilometers from the nearest clothing shops, so on-line shopping is the usual go-to for me. I regret that many companies based in China which pop up on my screen showing wonderful garments send low class knock-offs worth a fraction of what I paid. One company still has not responded to my returned goods or given a credit. I have tried one or two recommended sites with varying results in sizing and value. I will just have to try more of your recommendations! I am off to France myself on 29th December so I wish you a most wonderful holiday. Thanks you for all your personalised and inspriational comments.

  12. Mary
    16th December 2023 / 12:42

    Thank you for another year of interesting, helpful comments. Have a Very Happy Christmas.

  13. Cannon
    16th December 2023 / 12:57

    Thank you for writing your blog and inspiring me. I love a good mystery set in an exotic locale!
    Are you familiar with the Canadian writer Louise Penney? Very good mysteries.
    We are really enjoying The Crown and think that the production has been very thoughtfully done re Diana’s death and beyond.
    Have a lovely Christmas lunch and safe travels to Grimaud.

  14. Kari
    16th December 2023 / 14:23

    Thank you for your posts this year, Josephine. I’ve really enjoyed reading along with your journey to a new home. I feel inspired by you to embrace living a slow lifestyle with sustainable intentions!

  15. Brenda Chell
    16th December 2023 / 15:49

    A very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in France Josephine. Thank you so much for all your hard work which interests and inspires us throughout the year. You are very much appreciated. You deserve to relax and put your feet up. Best wishes and have a great time.

  16. Chris
    17th December 2023 / 03:02

    Merry Christmas. Enjoy your time in France. I live in the interior of BC, Canada and clothes shopping here is limited. I try to buy local as much as possible but occasionally resort to online and try to buy from Canadian stores wherever possible. I have, in the past, bought from stores in the UK and US but our custom duties make me think twice now before doing so. Thank you for all the work you do providing inspiration.

I love to hear from you please leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sign up for new posts

And don’t worry, you can unsubscribe at anytime.

Disclaimer: Products featured on Chicatanyage sometimes (but not always) include affiliate links. This means that a small referral commission may be paid to the retailer (at no extra cost to you). This contributes to the cost of maintaining this blog including Hosting fees etc. Chicatanyage could not exist without these small payments so thank you for your contribution.