Christmas in Paris

Before the holidays are in the distant past, I thought I would share some of the beautiful displays in the city.  I have been doing some ‘field work’ this week and Paris, quite literally, lights up for the holidays.

FWES Class 1985

My first time seeing the city dressed in holiday attire was last year, 2017.  I had specifically wanted to visit Paris at the end of the year to see the lights, markets and displays in the city.  It’s a special time of year.

A coincidental connection with a friend from elementary school made New Year’s Eve very memorable.  We joined the masses of global visitors to countdown the new year on the Champs-Élysées.  Towards midnight, we made our way closer to the ferris wheel and looked down the Champs-Élysées toward the Arc de Triomphe.  A light show and small fireworks display declared the new year.

Traditionally, this area of the city is packed with Christmas markets and the “Big Wheel” – a gigantic ferris wheel, constructed in the fall and stays operational for a few months.  This year, 2017 leading into 2018, the mayor of Paris announced changes.  The Christmas markets were banned on the Champ-Élysées, although the ferris wheel did make its appearance.

The reason seems to be political.  The markets have become less indicative of Parisian culture and more about selling food/goods unrelated to traditional France.  Think of these markets like a state or county fair in the United States.  It’s the type of annual event which brings out the community to enjoy music, food and festivities.  Smaller Christmas markets were dotted throughout alternative locations in the city with cheese, spiced wines, roasted chestnuts, chocolates etc. so it was possible to enjoy treats and the holiday environment.

In addition to the cuisine, festive displays line the streets of the city in each arrondissement.  Almost everywhere you turn shops are heralding the season.  The major department stores do a beautiful job, very often picking a theme which supported/interpreted by various designers.

Galerie Lafayette is renown for their displays.  I think of them as the John Wanamaker’s of Paris.  This year’s theme was a playful fairground with a healthy dose of pigeons.  Pigeons?

A Christmas tree of fairground treats

G. Lafayette stained glass dome

Loop-de-loop at G. Lafayette

Flying pigeon with popcorn







Other areas of the city shined as well, I wish I could capture all of them…

Louis Vuitton

LV close up

Gallerie Vivienne

Festive street







Slowly, the city is getting back to work after all the festivities of the past few weeks.  Shops and restaurants which closed for the holiday are reopened. The displays are coming down and Christmas trees are on the street waiting for pick up or populating the recycling areas in local parks.  The trees are shredded into chips and used as mulch in the garden beds of the parks.  The smell is wonderful!

As post-holiday normalcy resumes in the city, I too, am getting into my new routine.  I have moved into my apartment and will soon share a closer look at my home for 2018.

2018-09-02T13:06:44+00:00January 7th, 2018|Categories: La Cuisine, La Ville|Tags: |9 Comments


  1. Julie Cohen January 7, 2018 at 2:08 pm - Reply

    Looks gorgeous! Thanks so much for capturing the beauty of Paris! Make me want to come back very soon. 🙂

    • Gretchen January 7, 2018 at 3:54 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Julie! This is a great time of year in the city!

  2. Jill Sharp January 7, 2018 at 2:24 pm - Reply

    Wow! What a fabulous experience you must be having! Everything looks so inviting! You go girl and soak it all in.This adventure will be one of the most fabulous memorable times in your life and how blessed you are to have obtained this opportunity. Many more happy times to come!🍷🎉❤️ Jill

    • Gretchen January 7, 2018 at 3:56 pm - Reply

      Mrs. Sharp it is a great experience! I think I am only starting to realize how special. Thank you for your note! Happy New Year!

  3. Irene Fishkis January 7, 2018 at 2:28 pm - Reply

    Dear Gretchen, you have a way of spotting details that would be missed by most. The story flows and the pictures are magnificent! I find myself looking forward to the next post. Thank you for being so brave and for taking the time to share it with the rest of us. 😘

    • Gretchen January 7, 2018 at 3:58 pm - Reply

      So nice to hear from you, Irene! Thank you for the comments, it’s fun to tour the city. Please keep in touch! Happy 2018 to you, Wesley and your parents!

  4. Penny January 7, 2018 at 11:20 pm - Reply

    Glad 2018 in Paris seems off to a fabulous start!! Enjoy!!! Miss Penny

  5. Penny January 7, 2018 at 11:23 pm - Reply

    Glad 2018 in Paris seems off to a fabulous start!!make the money st of each day!🍷🐾⛄️🍾🥂

  6. Penny January 7, 2018 at 11:24 pm - Reply

    Glad 2018 in Paris seems off to a fabulous start!!make the money st of each day!🍷🐾⛄️🍾🥂have not!!

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