In my hometown in New England, we always had an event in mid-December called the « Christmas Stroll ». It was a a time for the residents and those of neighboring towns to come and enjoy together the Christmas ambiance that was always so well exemplified in the decorations. The town (a village really) had a tiny little central « place » that housed the tall Christmas tree and the crèche de noël, and all the black and white façades of the boutiques on Main Street were spruced up with fir greens and red bows with pretty little white lights to accentuate the falling snowflakes that always arrived just in time. The shops opened late for the Christmas stroll and served or sold their best and most festive holiday wares. It was a place to run into your old school teacher, or meet up with past classmates, see old high school pals or towns people that you know and recognize for years.
While that may never happen to me ever in Paris, I did get to experience a different, perhaps more glamorous type of Christmas stroll and although there was no small town charm or reminiscing, there was plenty of holiday cheer and happiness shared between me and a darling friend who was enjoying it all for the first time. I couldn’t have felt a warmer Christmas glow if I had been at the foot of that New England village Christmas Christmas tree. Read more →
After a rich and delicious meal with my in-laws, a digestive stroll around the neighborhood and several phone calls to family back in the USA, I can wrap up this Christmas and snuggle up on the couch with Chéri, and it is safe to say that this year has been full of cheer. I wish the same and more to all of you!
It is one of the best times of the year. Paris gets decked out and we start dreaming of snow, and holiday cheer.I hope you are all planning something delightful……and may all our Christmases be bright. Read more →
Christmas is always a magical time of year for those who love the Christmas spirit. I didn’t have to search far for the magic in Paris… The place where you can find all the children with big round eyes is in front of the display windows (« vitrines ») of the Grands Magasins, Galleries Lafayette and Printemps. Every year they have celebrity designers invent a concept for their Christmas windows, or « vitrines de noël ». They always have some mechanical fantasy that moves puppets and objects to create for a little show. In front of these large and wonderful mechanical scenes there is a special, platform that runs the length of the window, wide enough for two children to pass eachother, and guarded by a railing so that only children may get on it. It brings them up above the knees of the pushy camera bearing adults so that they can see and dream…
The adults can enjoy other smaller windows that are more for displaying the designers’ clothing and accessories than the Holiday scenes, but in a festive manner with all the trimmings that can only be conceptualized by the reative minds of the designers. And they do seem a bit more geered towards adults this year, or is that just the general French attitude towards « allure »? Whatever it is, it certainly catches the eye!
The other theme that Printemps touched upon was luxury and fine things…Although stunning, I found this less magical in a year of financial crisis and high unemployment rates…
These windows are by DIOR and CHANEL :
But most of the magic that I found was within the company of loved ones. Whether it was baking cookies for them, decorating trees with them or just spending these precious moments together, moments that seem so fleeting as every year sails on by and by…the magic of Christmas for me can’t be found in a gift box or display window, the magic of Christmas is the warmpth that comes from loved ones.
Mention : For all images on my blog of the Eiffel Tower at night : copyright Tour Eiffel - illuminations Pierre Bideau. Pour toutes image sur mon blog de la Tour Eiffel la nuit : copyright Tour Eiffel - illuminations Pierre Bideau