No, I haven’t just woken up after a new year’s hangover to end all hangovers (though the fact that there still seems to be so many Christmas trees around is messing with my head a little….). The new year in France is given a little more of an extended welcome than in many other countries, where wishes for the year ahead tend to fizzle out the day after you’re back sitting at your desk after the festive break.
Over here, you get a whole month to wish friends, colleagues and acquaintances a happy new year (bonne année as it were), meaning it’s perfectly acceptable to keep the good wishes coming in case there’s anyone you’ve forgotten, right up until the end of the month. So that means you have one week left to say your piece – there really are no excuses.
If you want to go that extra mile, then sending a new year’s card might be in order, being far more popular in France than the sending of Christmas cards. Still on sale in stationers, gift shops, major supermarkets and the like, you can pick up a lovely card with some kind of squiggly pattern or robin on, to say those magic words – Bonne année. For those who deserve slightly more formal wishes, pick up a card saying meilleurs voeux (best wishes).
Instant year-long karma for the price of a greetings card? I’m in.