Christmas In France is an exciting time to visit, quite unlike any other time of year.
Sure, it’s cold. But how many people do you know who have been ice skating in Paris? Or gone to midnight mass in an ancient french cathedral? Or looked up at the huge Galerie Lafayette Christmas Tree?
If you are lucky enough to spend Christmas in France, here are some fun vacation ideas and things that you simply must experience if you can!
- The Lights
Paris is called the City of Light – and it lives up to its name in December, from the fabulous white lights along the Champs-Elysées to the amazing store-window displays.
The rest of France does a pretty good job of it too – Lyon has a Lights Festivals in December, where lighting is celebrated as an art form. (http://www.lumieres.lyon.fr/lumieres/sections/en)
- The Christmas Markets
Christmas markets in France have a wonderful atmosphere and are a great way to experience the french festive spirit. You’ll find all sorts of goodies, from decorations to homewares and food. Some of the best markets are in Alsace. Strasbourg’s christmas market is one of the oldest in France, and is held in several different locations throughout the city. Two of the largest are in front of the beautiful Strasbourg cathedral. Colmar and Riquewihr also have excellent markets. If you’re in Paris, try the markets on Boulevard St-Germain and Place Saint-Sulpice.
- The Shopping
Shopping in Paris is fabulous any time of year, especially in the lead-up to Christmas. All the lights, christmas trees and window displays in the department stores, longer opening hours and a great atmosphere make an irresistible combination.
- Skiing Bargains
Looking for fun vacation ideas in December? If you want to go skiing in France, one of the cheapest times to go is right before Christmas. This is the beginning of ski season, and not all resorts are in full swing yet. One of the most reliable places this time of year is Chamonix, which has a packed winter schedule, with plenty of christmas-related events.(http://www.chamonix.com/)
- Christmas Food
Part of the magic of christmas in France is experiencing the different traditions and culture…including food! In Brittany you’ll have buckwheat pancakes; turkey and chestnuts in Burgundy; or oysters in Paris. If you are lucky enough to spend Christmas in France, don’t forget to try the traditional christmas dessert, the “Bûche de Noël” which is a sponge cake decorated like a log, representing a log placed on the hearth on Christmas Eve. Our favourite? Vin Chaud: Mulled wine served warm – to keep you toasty and mellow. Or roast chestnuts on a cold December day in Paris. Delicious….
And Christmas In France wouldn’t be complete without singing Jingle Bells….in French!Tintez Cloches, Tintez Cloches (Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells)
Tintez dans la nuit (Ring in the night)
Pere Noel et ses grand daims (Santa Claus and his big reindeer)
Arrivent toute de suite..ite (Are coming soon)
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Joyeux Noel (Merry Christmas) and Bonne Année! (Happy New Year!)