Christmas lights, Charlie Winston and little children at Galeries Lafayette

The 66 foot (20 meter) tall Rock-N-Mode Christmas Tree is decorated with neon guitars, stars and shiny tinsel, while a constellation of star-shaped mirrors reflect the colorful glass dome.

Let the holiday season begin! But if it's too early for you to think about glitzy decorations, shiny storefront windows and Christmas, you can always save this post for another day.

Since I'm in Paris, I'm going to follow their schedule, although I have to admit that it's a relief that Galeries Lafayette refrained from playing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" or "Deck the Halls" during the festivities last night. Not to sound like the Grinch, but there's a limit to how many times I can hear "Jingle Bells" during any given year.

By the time that I arrived at Galeries Lafayette on Boulevard Hausmann yesterday evening, there was already a crowd of excited people waiting to watch British singer Charlie Winston illuminate the Christmas lights. As I was a bit early and didn't want to spend too much time standing in the drizzling rain, I went to the information booth inside the store, where the employees speak about six different languages, and asked about the time of Winston's performance. I momentarily thought about contacting Santa to ask if one of his flying reindeers could give me a lift to the rooftop terrace when they told me that the concert was reserved for members of the press but decided to save my Christmas wish for something more useful, like a new pair of boots or an Hermes scarf.

British singer Charlie Winston addressing the crowd in French. When the Christmas lights
 didn't come on after he pressed the button, he switched to English and said "Wait for it!"
Voila - Christmas lights!
In keeping with the theme, Rock-N-Mode Christmas, Kouklitas (fashion rag dolls), created by
New York-based artist and illustrator Andrew Yang animate the store front windows. 
But best of all was watching the faces of the children...
...and feeling the magic of Christmas in the air. These two girls expressed their excitement about the window displays and Christmas lights to a reporter from TF1, one of the French television channels. 


  1. It's too early for Christmas for me--I have Thanksgiving to plan for myself and clients.

    More importantly, why aren't you in Bercy watching the men play tennis?

  2. I forgot all about the men's tennis, but it's not a tournament that I ever watched on tv and it hasn't received a lot of attention. Stephane mentioned it a few times but that was a couple of weeks ago so I didn't even realize that it's going on this week.

    It does feel strange to see Christmas lights and decorations so soon after Halloween. I look forward to reading about your preparations for Thanksgiving. Rather than running around trying to find all of the ingredients to make a real Thanksgiving dinner, we're going to celebrate at one of the restaurants (Chez l'Ami Jean) that Grant Achatz recommended.

  3. Down in deepest rural France the Christmas lights are in place but won't be turned on for a few more weeks yet. I could do with them twinkling now to motivate me to get the Christams parcels ready for the family abroad. Maybe I should nip up to Paris for a dose of those beautiful lights.

  4. In between all of the other things that you do, you have time to prepare Christmas parcels for your family abroad? Most impressive!

    It only seems to be Galeries Lafayette and Printemps who are in a hurry to kick off the holiday season in Paris. I just found out that they'll illuminate the lights on the Champs Elysees on November 23. I'm not sure when they'll turn on the lights on the streets near my apartment, but they were dark last night.

    After getting jostled by the crowd at Printemps last night, rural France sounds so peaceful right now...


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