December 25, 2018
To those of you who celebrate today, I sincerely wish you peace and happiness, today and in the new year. And to all of the rest of us, we can still enjoy the day with our friends who celebrate, and enjoy the beauty that the winter holidays offer to us all!
Paris goes somewhat over the top decorating for Christmas and New Years, and I say HALLELUJAH to that. Chicago feels quite drab in comparison…
The top left photograph below, with the adorable little reindeer, was in the window of a store that sells light bulbs! Yes, bulbs. They used their merchandise nicely to give this window an old-fashioned feeling.
One of the last days that I was in Paris, I found a shop that sells ANY kind of blown glass ornament that you might imagine. Name a hobby, or an interest, and they’ll have something to suit you. I was amused to see that even water bottles now have been commemorated by a glass ornament…
Christmas trees were everywhere! The picture at the top, shown below, is in the window of a store that sells parquet flooring. The tree is made of stacked pieces of wood!
I wasn’t able to get a photograph of my favorite version of a tree; a publishing company took a stack of books, arranged them from largest on bottom to tiniest on top, arranged them so that they were NOT neatly aligned – they “spiraled” them so that they resembled (very slightly) a tree. They then draped tinsel on this, set a star on top, and called it a day! There was always someone sitting RIGHT BESIDE this tree marking up documents when I went past, so I couldn’t photograph it. Imagine with me…
The bottom left tree might be a foot tall – perfect for the tiny Paris apartments!
Maybe the most practical is the bottom right tree, entirely made of chocolate, and decorated with nuts and dried fruit. I suspect that I have a friend who could make one of these… (all the tiers are star-shaped, fyi Madame Photographe…)
Sometimes, you just spray paint a bunch of branches and arrange them above your door!
Or you get an elf in his sleigh, (complete with reindeer) and a friendly teddy bear, put them out on the sidewalk outside your cafe, and delight all of the neighborhood children!
Belovedest and I are partial to moose…
And some of the clear glass balls in the top right photo below have little snow scenes in them! These are easily 8 or 9 feet off the ground, so everyone stands below with their sore necks and big smiles…
The Uniqlo in the Marais has a courtyard entryway – it usually is filled with mannequins. But NOT in December… They did this amazing mixture of red and white prints, with a “scarfed” plastic reindeer that clashes with it all.
Every shop seemed to have at least a touch of something festive in their windows. This chocolatier seems to have determined that the wise men brought chocolate-covered nougat to Bethlehem!
The trees above are on a ledge above the canopy outside a cafe. Use the space you have, eh?
The trees below were tucked in a doorway in a posh retail area… Understated but lovely.
And the photograph below is the doorway of a hotel. I’ve never seen anything quite like this before. Walking under that would feel like walking into a magical cave, to me.
The department store Bon Marche hung their trees from the ceiling! This was magical to see…
After dark, anything illuminated takes on an additional feeling of wonder. These trees are arrayed in front of the Pantheon, on the side that faces the Eiffel Tower. My photograph isn’t the best (cold hands, fibromyalgia, and just using a phone camera) but you get the enchanting idea, I’m sure.
Life is full of small pleasures. You don’t need to buy a little ceramic tray to remind yourself of this truth, do you?
So I’m remembering another lovely week in Paris. This is the view from my hotel room (well, it’s the view if you step up onto the tiny ledge that passes for a balcony, and look to the right!).
And I leave you with warmest wishes, expressed here in French:
Love love love,
Mama Squirrel says
Merci pour tous les bonheurs!
(From Canada–but I have never seen a moose.)
Joyeux Noël, Janice! What a splendid treat you’ve given us!
In any season, Paris window display is always a cut above well—several! Store display is part of the French patrimony (and Paris is its jewel)— even when the store is a Uniqlo, where probably not a single item is made in France. Christmas is totally over the top and you’ve captured it wonderfully.
I have such conflicting feeling about Uniqlo – everything that I have from there is of a quality far exceeding what could be expected for the price. And I love that they always carry simple, basic garments. Must everything be so complicated? (and I was thinking of you when I bought my first sweater at Eric Bompard!!!)
Merry Christmas hugs,
Maybe the following three words help explain the price – Underpaid Garment Workers … Not complicated at all.
Biddy Gander says
Was the Joyeux Noel Gallerie Lafayette?
I didn’t realise that you also had fibromyalgia, you do realise that the Irish climate plays havoc with it?
Yep, that’s Galleries Lafayette. And yes, I’m going to trade less stress for a more troubling climate. Although somewhere between freezing and steaming in Chicago, I’m not sure how it will be any worse!
Merry Christmas hugs,
Biddy Gander says
Makes sense and you have the addad benefit of cheap flights to Europe if the weather is too grim.
Peggy Sanders says
Thank you for posting these beautiful photos of Paris during Christmas.
I’m relatively new to your site and this is my first time commenting. I really love every post that you do – you have a great color sense and eye for detail. But I have especially enjoyed these last two posts, because they are not the typical travel snaps. So fun to see Paris from someone else’s (slightly quirky) perspective! I wish you the happiest holidays, and a new year filled with wonderful things.
Siiiigh, so beautiful! Thank you!
I laughed when I saw the moose. I always associate them with where I live in N. Idaho (have them in the yard several times a year) as well as Montana and Wyoming. I was on a multi-day tour in France and saw another tour bus with a moose sticker on it. I asked our bus driver about it and he laughed and said…oh yes, it means that bus has been to Norway.
And yes, your post has strengthened my desire to visit Paris and London next December!
Madame Photographique says
That is some challenge my friend! Send me the photo so I can see all the details. I’ll have to think about how I can pull that off. Just might have to go to Paris with you next December to research! – Madame Photographique
I love the hotel entrance, but above all the little bear! Thank you again for sharing your unique perspective.
If you don’t mind sharing, what hotel did you stay in? We were in Paris years back and your view looks incredibly familiar!
I was in the Hotel Moderne St. Germaine. It’s on the Rue des Ecoles, which is a street with a lot of hotels. I can highly recommend this place – it was clean, had everything I needed, and the staff was really friendly and helpful. What else could I want?
No Fear of Fashion says
As you have gathered by now, I am going through a few posts… As I was reading this post I was waiting for the Lafayette one. You wouldn’t have missed that one. There at the end it was.