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French children are visited by two gift bringers. In some areas an angelic child called Petit Noel brings the gifts. However, in most provinces the gift bringer is Pere Noel. Pere Noel is a Santa figure in the Northern European tradition. He is taller and less chubby than the American Santa, and he wears a full length red robe. He has several characterists that are distinctly French. In some areas of France he wears wooden clogs instead of boots. He does not say "Ho-ho-ho." Instead he cries "tra-la-la, bouli, bouili, boulah". On Christmas Eve he arrives riding a donkey. Many traditions surround the arrival of Pere Noel on Christmas Eve. A large dinner called the reveillon is served. The highlight of this meal is the buche de Noel-a cake shaped like a yule log. Great bunches of mistletoe are hung around the house, a tradition dating back to the Celts. French children end the evening by leaving a snack and a glass of wine for Pere Noel to eat when he stops to leave their pre- sents.
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