It’s officially December and that means CHRISTMAS IS COMING!! That means presents, lots of food, lots of parties and so much fun!! In recent days, the Paris Poodle has been learning how the French do Christmas. Through my decoration observation studies in Galaries Layfayette, Printemps and along Les Champs Elysées, it turns out that the tourist hot spots have had the most commercial X-mas Factor ploughed into them – the vitrines (shop windows) at Printemps alone have enough magic, mechanics and cuteness to keep you occupied for a good 45 minutes! Each one has a set of small steps and a platform so that the kiddies can get a better view- the moving teddy bears and puppets are accompanied by sinister music (presummably Christmassy), which for the Poodle, made the cutesome scenes of festive joy transform into something like The Nightmare Before Christmas! The little ones didn’t seem to mind though!
Cute or creepy?
Check out these pics of my festive fenetre favourites:
Aside from these grand gestures to be extra Christmassy for the kids, I have found that elsewhere the Christmas displays are much more discrete. Where are the marketing signs of pre Christmas offers? Where are the complementary mince pies and mulled wine when you go into shops? Where’s the holly and the ivy? And why don’t the French go Christmas carolling? They don’t even seem to like playing Christmas songs in the shops for fear that they will devalue their stock. In fact so far, the only shop I have had the pleasure of ‘I wish it could be Christmas every day’ and ‘ Santa Clause is coming to town’ was in the 4th arrondisement when I was browsing in a sex shop. Somewhere in between the ‘How to control a man remote control’ and the ‘ring for sex’ bell I momentarily understood why the French don’t play these songs as incessently as they do in England... but it is only the 4th so I’m holding out for more to come...
The French may be less OTT in their approach to Christmas but they really cant help it - they’re not allowed to be overtly commercial and in your face. It’s a matter of ‘class’, of ‘sophistication’ the eternal understatedness that reigns in Paris. Nonetheless the Christmas markets and the hot roast chestnut stands are still in check here...and what’s more, I still have the outdoor ice rink at Hotel de Ville and the classical music concerts in various Paris cathedrals to look forward to – its still twinkly sparkly pretty in shop windows and main streets!
Although, the Poodle must confess, part of me is desperately longing to decorate my balcony with blown up illuminated snowmen just to add the retro to the oh-so-chic ness of my avenue des Gobelins Paris palace!