• Pere Noël-Father Christmas-Santa Clause at the Bastille, Paris, France
    Christmas,  Let's Explore

    Father Christmas at the Bastille in Paris

    One day walking through the Bastille plaza, I saw the Christmas trees being set up around the green July column. By the next evening, purple was once again the sparkling color lighting up the Bastille July column. For the Christmas holiday, Pere Noël was riding the merry-go-round and another day he was dancing with a marching band. Every day is different in the Bastille!

  • Image of carrousel and Hôtel de Ville in the background for Christmas
    Let's Explore,  Seeing Paris

    Blue Velvet Christmas in Paris

    Three Paris monuments are wearing Blue Velvet this year. La Ville de Paris theme this year is “Paris Scintille” (Paris sparkles). Until January 3, Paris sparkles with white drops of light dripping down the façade of the Hôtel de Ville (City hall) and the Luxor Obelisk on Place de la Concorde. The Bastille Colonne de Juillet (July column) has no white drops but was my first dramatic glimpse of the blue velvet. What You Will See The Hôtel de Ville plaza is an illuminated, enchanted, fairy-tale forest with two free merry-go-rounds, including a double-decker. There are wood chalet kiosks with various treats. One kiosk is selling spiced wine, pretzels, waffles,…

  • Galeries Lafayette Christmas decorations customers on the plank
    Christmas,  Going Out

    Noël Voyage in Paris

    Paris Sparkles during the Holidays. Take a Paris Voyage with Colleen's Paris on small street of the Bastille, the department store decorations and rooftops, watch the lights come up on the Champs-Elysées and see Avenue Montaigne lit up, a carrousel in the Tuileries Garden and be mystified at the blue velvet column of the Bastille. 

  • Pere Noel and La Poste Secretariat opens today November 9 for letters to Santa
    Christmas,  Practical Info

    Time to Write to the North Pole – Père Noël is Back in Business

    Don't complain about a full email inbox. Last year, Père Noël (Santa Claus) received around 91,000 emails once the season opened. And it is that time again. Madame and Père Noël's post office opened November 9. This year, you can email or send a colourful paper letter. Get out the crayons and colourful ideas. The secretariat is part of la Poste France. The elves are working in Libourne in the Gironde region. According a LaDepche.fr, 1.2 million children from over 140 countries wrote paper wish letters addressed to Père Noël".

  • Chalets along Champs-Elysées for Christmas Market and Santa Claus Pere Noel
    Christmas,  Specific Info

    Champs Elysées Christmas Market No More

    Two events will effect somebody this latter part of 2017. Planning on the Champs-Elysées Christmas market? Stuck in traffic? It's like a soap opera or a custody fight in a divorce. Whose side will you be on? Every year Christmas markets attract 30 million people visitors in France. Fifteen million of those visit one or more of the 250 chalets along the Champs-Elysées for the Paris Christmas market. If you are stuck in traffic this week, the carnival operators are conducting an "escargot" (snail) slowing down and blocking traffic with their semi trucks on the expressways. They want to set up their chalets on the Champs-Elysées.

  • Choral procession and concert every December Svenska Kyrkan, Paris
    Christmas,  Going Out

    Something Different for Christmas in Paris

    Looking for something out of the ordinary as you prepare for Christmas in Paris? A reader asked me this question, so here are a couple of ideas: the Swedish Church (Svenska Kyrkan), Affären (the Swedish shop and café) and the AAWE bazaar: Sankta Lucia (Sainte Lucie, Saint Lucia, Santa Lucia, etc.) is a choral presentation and procession filled with candlelight. In the procession, the church choir holds candles and sings; the Lucia wears a crown of candles her head. It is a tradition that I experienced when I lived in Stockholm and one that continues here in Paris. The Swedish Church (Svenska kyrkan) (église suedoise) holds this event every year…

  • La Poste page - write to Santa, send to a friend, choose a game or find lots of fun in the bonus section Christmas
    Archive

    Write to Santa (Père Noël) and Play Games

    Sixty secretaries at the French post office, La Poste, are waiting for your letters to Santa. The Secrétariat du Père Noël office opens thousands of letters a year. The secretaries in Libourne (in the Gironde) respond to the writers with a special holiday edition La Poste-designed card. In 1962, its first year, the office received 5,000 cards. By 2014, they received over 1.2 million letters to Père Noël (Santa Claus). Père Noël's team can also be found on Facebook....

  • Friday, November 20, a week after the Paris attacks. The Eiffel Tower is specially lit in red, white and blue until November 25
    Events and Trade Shows,  Life in Paris & France,  Photography-Art

    Paris Scenes – A Rainy November Night

    A week after the Paris attacks I went out to see if anyone else was out. Along the Champs-Elysées the cars were moving along as usual, the Ferris wheel was turning. They switched on the lights along the avenue a day later than planned. Not many wandered the the Village de Noël Christmas market lanes and sidewalks. Walking toward the Seine, Dior along the Avenue Montaigne had the most spectacular decoration among illuminated trees. Catching the bus from Alma-Marceau to Trocadéro, the Eiffel Tower ...