As a rule, I love the lead up to Christmas, and this year is no exception. Yesterday, we selected and decorated the tree and we are now enjoying the gorgeous, once a year smell of fresh pine. I’ve also started planning the menu – I am always happy leafing through cookbooks, searching for the perfect holiday recipes.
But I must admit that I have been struggling with gift purchases this year. For the last few years, gift selection has not been a problem for me. But there has been a very good reason for that fact. You see, for the last 5 years, we’ve spent this time of year abroad. And for 4 of those years, we’ve been lucky enough to spend time in France.
It probably goes without saying that France is an excellent place to source perfect Christmas gifts. But there are other compelling reasons to do your Christmas shopping France.
1. The Christmas decorations and lights. You would be forgiven for visiting Galeries Lafayette just for the Christmas tree alone. And the lights that adorn the Champs Élysées are simply spectacular, and their unveiling each year is a newsworthy event. But there are beautiful lights and gorgeous windows all over the country. They add a whole lot of sparkle to your shopping trip.
2. The very different holiday traditions you are exposed to. Food traditions are an obvious stand out. Last year our nephews had the best time smashing the chocolate slabs that were so common in France but completely unseen in Australia.
3. The access to the Christmas markets. Markets pop up all over the place and they are all great fun. Strasbourg boasts the oldest Christmas markets in France, and I am really keen to visit them next year. We spent Christmas in Germany a few years ago and were enchanted by the markets – I have a funny feeling that I will be equally impressed by the French version.
I`d love for you to share your tips on Christmas shopping in France. Oh, and if you’ve got a great Christmas shopping strategy for someone who needs some inspiration, I’d love to hear that too. I think I’m going to need all the help I can get this year.
Until next time – au revoir.