3 Things I Love About The Christmas Market on Champs-Elysees.
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Oh Paris! As I write this, looking out from our Montmartre apartment onto the Effiel Tower and a seemingly silent city below, I’m a whole lot of sad; not only am I leaving this beautiful city in less than six hours (5 a.m.), I’m also going to miss the plethora of Christmas Markets that fill Paris with so much holiday joy, including one of my favorites the Christmas Market on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées.
You always hear people talk about visiting the city in spring and autumn, but I’m hear to tell you that if you’ve been thinking about celebrating Christmas in France, then it’s not to late to find some cheap flights to Paris. Christmas in Paris reminds me of my youth, when main streets in America were bubbling with glowing candy canes, snow flakes and snowman, while couples walked arm and arm and children played enthusiastically in the glow of Christmas present.
The Paris Christmas markets, as well as those elsewhere in France, owe their origins to the northern region, which used to belong to Germany and draws on the traditions of the German Christmas market traditions that date back to the 14th century. The largest and most famous French Christmas market is the Marché de Noël, which is in Strasbourg, the capital of Alsace. Paris brings nearly a dozen Christmas markets to the season, but its largest is the one on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, and these are the three reason I love it so.
Tight-Rope Walking Santa
O.K., so Santa isn’t actually performing a high wire act over the Champs-Élysées, but he is riding in a sleigh on a track about 25 feet above the famed boulevard. It’s an hourly show that has Old Saint Nick and his reindeer flying above the crowd like something out of a vintage Christmas film.
Considered one of the most beautiful boulevards in the world, Champs-Élysées only gets more stunning during the Christmas holiday. Stretching from the Champs-Élysées roundabout (Metro: Champs Élysées-Clémenceau) to the Place de la Concorde (Metro: Concorde), the boulevard pops with over-sized ornaments as well as wood chalets, a Christmas market staple featuring holiday treats, sausages and specialties from various regions of France. And for those looking for traditional Alsatian Christmas gifts, there is a temporary boutique set up at 39 avenue des Champs-Élysées.
Mulled, Mulled, Wine
Sure, mulled wine–a hot red wine mixed with spices and raisins–can be found at all the Christmas markets. However, this was this first place that I ever sipped this warm, delicious concoction, so it holds a special place in my heart. I’m not quite sure why, but mulled wine never made it to any of the Christmas parties I attended in the United States. Though, on the Champs-Élysées, it brews in large iron pots and feels the boulevard with a sort of potpourri smell.
Have you ever been to the Paris Christmas markets?
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