Paris at Christmas
Article & Photography by Michael Morcos
A sensuous kiss atop the Eiffel Tower under gently falling snow…
A walk arm-in-arm along the Champs-Elysées, cuddling close against the cold…
A romantic evening stroll along the banks of the Seine…
Is there anywhere more lovely in the world to spend Christmas with a partner than Paris? Apart from the famous and `Rom-Com` scene-stealing locales, Paris also offers a vast array of Christmastime activities and shopping opportunities.
Among the many Christmas markets in Paris, the one in La Défense is one of the best, in place for more than a month and offers a Christmas Village on the square that is the largest and most authentic in the Paris Region. This massive village has 300 chalets filled with traditional arts and crafts to discover, vast expanses of festive decorations to enjoy, and a variety of tempting things to eat and drink that will astound the pallet!
Within the village and scattered throughout Paris are a number of special Christmas Manèges de Noël: Christmas Carousels. These seasonal merry-go-rounds can be found in many neighborhoods in Paris. As the tourist areas are always repleat with people, the city have place the largest Carousels at the Hôtel de Ville and at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, but there is a consensus that the more fun and charming manèges are found in the less touristy neighborhoods.
To walk in Paris at Christmas is to walk into history, back into time. It is easy to imagine Hemingway staggering from place to place or Moliere and his peers drinking Absinthe to meet the winter Faeries!
All along the Champs-Elysées you will be surrounded by a line of trees that twinkle in the night, with stores and restaurants offering havens for shoppers and warm drinks for those who need to shake off the chill of the night air.
If you can plan well, you can wander over to Trocadéro square, where you can enjoy the lights on the Eiffel Tower shimmer for five minutes every hour and every night until midnight. Magical and marvellous!
Walking other parts of the city reaps more rewards, including the traditional holiday window decorations of the three great Parisian department stores: Galeries Lafayette, Printemps, and Bon Marché. Much like the rest of the world, these magnificent displays are a draw for tourist and local alike. The Galeries Printemps and Lafayette also offer lighting displays that will take your breath away!
Paris is filled with surprises and unique offerings for its citizens and visitors. A personal favourite is the surprise on the first level of the Eiffel Tower – Paris’ highest ice-skating rink! The view is as spectacular as one can imagine, with the frosted windows and snow-covered domes reflecting the lights of the city. The Hotel de Ville has also built an annual rink for the people to enjoy, and though charming in its own right, the Eiffel Tower’s rink is something else!
No trip to Paris would be complete without shopping!
A Parisian staple for sure is chocolate. With so many boutiques to choose from, the artistry of Patrick Roger has to be at the top of my list. White chocolate icicles and giant chocolate trees bring the magic of Christmas to the ‘sweet toothed’ of the world!
Over Christmas, the City of Lights truly lives up to its name and reputation with a million twinkling, blinking, colorful lights welcoming guests and residences alike!
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