I’ve spent the beginning of December in a lovely Paris. It’s been my 4th time in the city and definitely, not the last one. I’ve been to summer Paris, autumn Paris, New Years’ Eve and New Year Paris and now December Christmas Paris.
I adore the city. My deep feelings for the place is summarized in my Paris is always a good idea. Again and Again. Now I’m gonna tell you what’s Christmas time in Paris like.
By the day I had no idea, no reminder that it’s December already. We had great luck with incredibly warm weather, clear sky, and actual sunshine so many locals were wearing sunglasses with their chick outfits. Ony the massive crowds and sale signs were the only reminder that’s something is going on.
The general vibe changed when the sun went down and suddenly it felt completely different. Obviously, a few lights change every scenery into a holiday scenario.
The famous Champs-Élysées is on fire.
Or at least it seems like it. This year the city is dressed in red and the streets suddenly feel much warmer. The bright red light looks spectacular, not really Christmasy, just exactly what you’d expect from Paris.
I was surprised by the lack of Christmas trees. I mean there were some, but it was more about the lights in general than the Christmas tree lights. But when you think about it, in such a multicultural city you can’t really put one religious holiday over another. You know those ridiculously intense arguments about Holidays vs. Christmas right? Imagine you actually have to come up with a solution.
Obviously “holidays” are more respectful but is it really that big of a topic? Do you really think Christianity is gonna be forgotten because you wish someone a Happy Holiday instead of Merry Christmas? And on the other hand, do you think people are gonna convert because they saw a Christmas tree or a Bethlehem? No matter what you say or do someone out there is gonna have a problem with that no matter what so just relax and enjoy the lights.
My absolute favorite street in the world got to be Avenue Montaigne.
The first thought that entered my mind when I stepped on the street years ago was: “God I wish I was this rich.” My goal in life is to have my life together and regularly shop at Avenue Montaigne.
It’s the street where the rich white ladies shop. All of the big brand names you can think of are located on the street. You walk the sidewalk and don’t know where to look first. Chanel. Versace. Fendi. Louis Vuitton. Ralph Lauren. Prada. Dolce&Gabana. Armani. Gucci. Dior. Valentino and many more. The concentration is outstanding.
I was never a car fan. But guys, I could not stop staring at the cars parked there. I actually took photos of a car whilst there was a Chanel store on the other side. I couldn’t believe it but those cars, those boutiques, that spectacular decoration was the peak of my trip.
The street looked like an American Christmas movie. Cute stores. People dressed fancy. Lights everywhere. I mean literally everywhere. Every single tree branch was covered in little Christmas lights, some of them still, some of them sparkling. The street was breathtaking.
You must be thinking: Paris must have had beautiful Christmas markets.
Well, you’re not wrong- BUT.
There are several places in Paris where the markets occur. What they all have in common are the beautiful sight and unbelievable queues.
Seriously, me and my friend were stuck in the middle of a cluster of people unable to move, get ahead, or back in any way. We just stood there for like 5 minutes waiting for the tourists to move in some way. As we’re not really tall, all we could see was the back of the coats. It’s that kind of overcrowded place where all you’re capable of doing is looking under your feet so you don’t accidentally step on someone. It’s impossible to really enjoy the sight around you.
From what little I was able to see, there were some really delicately decorated stalls. The food stands were next to game stalls, next to a rollercoaster and that created sort of unorganized mess of Christmas themed stuff.
Not what I am used to but it was still nice, even though the place felt so rushed.
Another feature of the Paris Christmas markets was the people dressed up as Christmas elves and posing for photos. The Christmas spirit was really intense art the place but the dense crowds made us leave as soon as possible. The only photos I was able to take was of the photographs of the horrors of the crowds.
Paris takes its Christmas decorations very seriously. By the end of Christmas, they are already starting with the preparations for next year’s decorations. They hire the best of the best artist to take part in making the city special. Each shop display has its own story to tell. Just take a look at the Dior’s display at the Champs-Élysées.
I think there is unnecessary pressure on the big cities during Christmas time. Even more when everything is considered controversial or offensive. Paris did a great job of bringing out the holiday spirit in the city but it’s something you need to witness yourself. Seeing or reading about it doesn’t do justice to the feeling of a Christmas Paris.