Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année!

At Christmas, Paris really does resemble everything you’d envisage Paris to be in your untamed dreams. It’s strung with lights, rue by rue, boulevard by boulevard, from north to south and east to west with the Eiffel Tower the shimmering focal point at night.
I have been to Paris a number of times at Christmas, but this year in living here, it was a gift to enjoy the festivities at a wonderful seasonal pace with friends.
The best lights to visit are along the Champs Elysses, where primarily you may feel as though you are caught up in tourist trappings, however the smells of roasting chestnuts, sugared churros and mulled wine will soon quell any exasperation. The avenue runs for 2 kilometers from the Place de la Concorde to the Place Charles de Gaulle (Arc de Triomphe) you can easily spend an entire afternoon browsing the market, eating, drinking and occasionally darting off to the adjacent avenues for a stroll to get out of the crowds. There is also a Ferris wheel in place at Place de la Concorde which is entirely worth a romantic spin on.

The Galleries La Fayette (a fashion institution) in the Opera area of Paris is illuminated magically too. Being Paris’ Harrods and a mere few metro stops from where I live, I meet friends there a lot to drink coffees and swoon over ridiculously expensive shoes and dream of the day I will finally be able to afford to buy myself some Guerlain Spiritueuse Double Vanille  perfume! During the festive season the store displays an enormous and lavishly decorated Christmas tree under its glass dome ceiling, drawing your eyes to the ornate detailing of the building and its theatre like design. It houses a gourmet food market and you can also treat yourself to some famous Pierre Herme macarons. Luxury, luxury, luxury.
Speaking of Guerlain and as Christmas is a good excuse for us girls to treat ourselves, our Mum’s and best girl friends, Guerlain is another wonderful place to visit on a Saturday afternoon on the Champs Elyesses. Just to feel expensive for one day!
Also I recommend The Notre Dame and its Christmas tree. Don’t forget to pop across the road to Shakepeare and Co! And on the corner there is a wonderful cafe in which to drink hot buttered rum and watch the world go by.

It's additionally festive to go  ice skating at Hotel de Ville  (near Montparnasse), for some frivolity and atmosphere!
Be sure to drink vin chaud, anywhere and everywhere but I do recommend a little French rock ‘n’ roll style chic  café in the Marais called Le Pick Clops (16 Rue Vielle Du Temple). It’s simple, cheap and has plenty ambiance.
Enjoy a glass of Beaujolais Nouveau.
Be sure to try some Buche de Noel, at ‘chez someone’ preferably as homemade is always best!

Indulge in a slice of Gallette des Rois (traditionally served from the Twelfth Night) from any good boulangerie or Secco which is known to be one of the best,  and search for the "fève”.
And try some Foie gras if you’re brave enough. Again there are many restaurants in the Marais to try, you can also buy your standard tinned foie gras at Galleries La Fayette or a much better quality at Le Comptoir Correzien du Foie. I have also heard that the foie gras at Benoit (Hotel de Ville area) is fabulous, and the restaurant itself luxurious by way of red velvet, vintage decor elegance, and you can work off  the calories with ice skating after!
Additionally of course there are always charitable events happening. 
For example, this year a four ton chocolate christmas tree was built by French chocolatier Patrick Roger to raise money for neuromuscular diseases (participants received pieces of the tree in exchange for their donations upon visiting the tree). And the Christmas market Les Feeries d’Auteuil  hosts a nativity display and sells glam products, organised by the Fondation d’Auteuil. And of course, you can always volunteer with the Salvation Army or Red Cross to help hand out meals to the homeless.
Paris  at Christmas time is a fairy tale, dream and truly what Christmas nostalgia is fashioned from!

As for New Year, on the Eve there are many Cabaret shows (such as at the Moulin Rouge in Pigalle) and people drinking champagne and watching the fireworks on the Pont Des Arts.


And for New Years Day there is only one place to see and be seen; the Saint-Germain des Près New Year's Day Concert.

Any resolutions?

I make none.

I made no resolutions for the New Year.  The habit of making plans, of criticizing, sanctioning and moulding my life, is too much of a daily event for me. - Anais Nin

However, I do believe beyond a shadow of a doubt there are many joys and adventures to be had this year. I shall be grateful for each day, and all that I have. I think of those who I am without or who are with little and send them love and light and wishes of warm blessings.


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

* stock photo


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