Oh yes, the signs are everywhere. Lights have been strung across every street in town - even if they haven't been turned on yet. While checking out at Carrefour last week, I noticed at least 50% of shoppers had toys in their baskets. I even saw an inflatable Père Noël last week.
Yep, here comes Christmas. And while I am used to rejecting anything Christmas related until the third friday in November, the French don't have Thanksgiving for a buffer, so it seems all systems are go as soon as the somber holiday Toussaint is over.
But the number one way I know that Christmas is coming? Our mailbox is absolutely stuffed with toy catalogs. Every major store has them. And, I can't explain why, this has brought on a strange wave of nostalgia. I remember pouring over the toy section of the JCPenny's catalog like I was studying for a bar exam. With great care, I would circle or bookmark interesting toys, so I could go back and whittle my choices down to ten, to be copied into a letter to Santa. I rarely - if ever - actually received a gift I requested from the catalogs (maybe I was aiming to high?), but I loved flipping through the pages and daydreaming.
Come to think of it, I've never ordered anything from a catalog. But I sure do like to look through them. Heh. Some things never change.