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If I had to summarize year 2020 in one sentence, I'd choose one of my favorite quotes - "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans"- by John Lennon.

How is life treating you, our dear readers? It has been many months since our lives started changing, for virtually everyone in every corner of this world. Our lives have changed, and we have changed, often by forces out of our control. What has not changed is our will to be together with our loved ones. And now with only a few days away from Christmas, it is the hardest part - it will be a very different holiday this year.

I have started writing this blog post (the last one this year!) many times. I didn't want to sound sad, and I didn't want to seem too breezy. How does one strike the right balance, when we know so many things are wrong? You may have noticed there wasn't a new post since October. I have thought to write about things we found at the flea markets, things we are passionate about in our "brocante" world, and then thought - who wants to hear about antique napkins these days? There are more important things on people's minds, in this "annus horribilis" of 2020, in the year that turned everything on its head. So it's been quiet on the blog front for a few weeks.

But then we have heard from some Instagram followers how they all appreciate distraction from grim news, and they like seeing crystal chandeliers, and embroidered pretty things, and stacks of old silverware... So as Christmas and the end of the year are approaching, we are reaching out with big thanks for being with us, ordering from us, following us, sharing the joys of antique beauty. We hope, and we are keeping out fingers crossed! that next year will bring favorable changes for the better, and the world will be able to start recovering.

And although this Christmas will be different, the sobriety of this year does not mean that we must forget the joys that this time of year usually brings. This year's celebrations will be special but not complicated in our household. We will celebrate with just each other (and our dog at our feet waiting for a morsel or two). And we will do it with style, pulling out all the loveliest china, and linen, and silverware. I love the ritual of getting ready for this special time of year. Selecting china, silverware, linen... Arranging greenery, boughs of holy with its cheerful red berries, adding new ideas to our table each year as our personal collection of vintage and antique treasures grows...

Giving these special, beautiful finds their spotlight again brings me joy - I can imagine how they were cherished by their previous owners, when they were part of family celebrations, adored year after year, and passed to younger generations. This year the ritual is the same, and gives me a chance to take my mind off the very serious state of the world as well...

The end of the year is a time of reflection, and no doubt we will have a lot to think about this year. And as I am writing these words, I am thinking of all the lessons that this complicated time has given us.

What the last few months have taught me that no matter how much effort you put into trying to change what cannot be changed, no matter how frustrated you get, there are forces that are out of your control, and one cannot change the tide; one must accept what one cannot change. And in these times when our patience, and believes, and values are being challenged, there are a few constants that I will always have faith in - human connection, friendships and kindness, and - to keep it light - the restorative power of chocolate and champagne!

And I believe that better times are coming!

- by Joanna

As the year 2020 is winding down, we at My French Maison want to wish you all the best. Be healthy, stay well, stay safe!


xoxo Joanna and Dorota


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