Le Réveillon is the name given to the two big evening meals the French have on Christmas night (December 24th) and New Year's Eve (December 31st). Christmas is usually spent with family while New Year's eve is rather devoted to fun with friends. Restaurants have special menus on those two nights and if the dinner is to be at home, a rich several-course menu will be had with special foods such as foie gras, smoked salmon, oysters, seafood, game meat, roast or stuffed turkey, salads, cheeses and patisseries for dessert, the most famous of which is the Buche de Noël, the Christmas log - so called because this rolled cake is dressed up to resemble a wooden log. All in all, too much food and wine (red, white, champagne, all associated with each dish) combine to beat the cold winter night outside. Merry Christmas to you, and a very special thought to those (known or unknown) for whom Christmas will not be merry, for whatever reason.
Le réveillon - trop à manger et trop à boire, deux manières de se défendre contre la froide nuit d'hiver qui frappe aux carreaux. Joyeux Noël à tous - mais aussi une pensée toute particulière à ceux (connus et inconnus) pour qui Noël ne sera pas joyeux, quelle qu'en soit la raison.