I didn’t grow up with the culture of Christmas. No Christmas tree at home, seasonal decorations, or any of that, no sending cards with year-end letters describing everything the family did during the year. Chanukah is not a religious holiday, but one of tradition, so I missed out on the spirit of the Christian occasion. That never has bothered me, and doesn’t to this day. But I do agree with the culture of showing appreciation to family, friends, and clients for their support, patronage and loyalty. And that’s what I’d like to do now, today, in this Nouvellettre®.
If you read Monday’s Nouvellettre®, then you know I spent the Christmas weekend in Morocco, where their culture doesn’t celebrate Christmas, either. Still, there were signs of it at our riad, which is owned by two Frenchmen and caters to international visitors. We actually thought that the holiday decorations among the Moroccan motif seemed strangely out of place. The advantage to being in a non-Christian country for the holidays was that everything was open and operating as if nothing special was happening. Last year we were in Italy at the same time, which was a lot more challenging—the weather wasn’t as good as it had been in Marrakesh and almost everything was closed. Christmas Day was almost a non-event as a result. We certainly learned that it makes sense to travel not only south to better weather, but to non-Christian spots…Israel would make a great destination, too!
Nonetheless, having the time to relax and reflect has given me cause to think of all that I am thankful for—an immigrant to France who came for a one-year sabbatical, only to discover that one year wasn’t enough and has now turned into more than 28. Thanks to France, I was able to not only earn a living, but create a real home for myself and my daughter, educate her well free of charge, invest in real estate that has created security for our futures, and have a rich cultural life that couldn’t have been achieved living in the U.S. The ability to travel to other parts of the world as easily and inexpensively as we did this past weekend is a perfect example of that rich cultural life of which I used to dream, but to which I didn’t have access living on the other side of the planet. Thank you, France.
To all of you readers of our Nouvellettres®, you have been amazingly loyal, many since as long ago as 1998 when they first began. It started as “Parler Paris,” the communiqué for our French-English conversation group, “Parler Parlor.” It was quite a different publication then, but those were the beginnings nonetheless. We dropped the name “Parler Paris” just a few years ago, for a couple of different reasons. The biggest reason is that the subject expanded to beyond Paris—to Nice, to other parts of France, and like this past Monday’s, as far away as Morocco. Another big reason was the launch of a new social media platform of the same name, known to be politically right in nature, with which I didn’t want to be associated. On top of that, we decided it was best not to confuse our readers and clients by going “off-brand”—keeping it simple by writing under my own name.
To all of you who have been reading our thrice-weekly Nouvellettres®, whether for one week, one year or 20, I’d like to thank you.
Thanks must go to all of our staff and extended “family” and colleagues who have worked with us over the years to do what we do (in alphabetical order, by city):
In Paris: Bernard Burch (Search and Concierge), David Sprawls (Search and Concierge), Elizabeth Moxon (Administrative Assistant) Luz Diaz (Search and Concierge), Martine di Mattéo (Deco), Matthieu Duclos (Gérant), Nicole Oliver (Bookkeeping/Accounting), Said Alelskiev (Technology) and Sophie Mangrum (Search)
In Nice: Delia Dobreanu (Search and Concierge), Ella Dyer and Simone (Search and Mascot), Jennifer Parrette (Search), Kathy Grassi (Search), Laura Poirier (Deco), Patty Sadauskas (Executive Assistant) and Roni Sexton (Search and Concierge)
In the US: Janet Hoover (Web Developer/Webmaster) and Schuyler Hoffman (Nouvellettre® Producer)
There are lots of other people to whom we owe our success. You will find them on our site on our Partners page.
And to our clients, the thousands of people with whom we’ve worked over the years…THANK YOU. We are truly blessed and rewarded to have had the opportunity to help so many wonderful people realize their dreams to live and/or invest in France. It’s what keeps us going year-after-year…knowing that so few people do what we do, in the way we do it, to make it so easy and so sure for those who want to take the same leap to France that we all did.
Thank you. And a Happy New Year to all! May 2023 be the brightest year ever!
A la prochaine…
The Adrian Leeds Group®