They were frankly a bit startling for an American raised on jolly images of Santa:
|"His eyes—how they twinkled!|
His dimples—how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry.
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow.
The Santas I saw in France were emphatically not jolly. Even the grave Santa of my father's youth, back in the misty beginnings of time, before jolly had been invented, looks positively ebullient next to the Santas the city fathers of Tours had chosen to decorate their public spaces with.
|A little solemn, perhaps, but still festive.|
|That's not Santa; it's a cat burglar!|
|Peeping Santa? Euuuuww!|
|The photo is a bit busy, so I highlighted the disturbing vision of Santa|
creeping across an electrical line, apparently intent on mayhem. (Detail below.)
|Detail from the photo above. He doesn't even have a face!|
Dementor Santa? I suspect so.
|This is a guy who eschews the lump of coal and simply EATS naughty children.|