1) Le marché de Noël is where you go in la ville to buy all things Christmas. They set up little chalets that make the atmosphere cozy even if there isn’t snow on the ground. Grab a steaming cup of vin chaud and taste some local lavender honey while you’re at it! The air smells of chestnuts and your senses are in holiday heaven.
2) At le marché de Noël you can find les santons to make your own Crèche de Noël. Les santons are made in Provence and were originally created in Marseille during the French Revolution. Churches were closed and the nativity scenes therein were banned so people wanted to have their own figurines at home. The French seem to go crèche crazy during this time and you see huge ones in churches plus santon chalets everywhere. Make sure not to put baby Jesus into the scene until Christmas Eve!
3) Of course the Champs Élysées looks like it is dripping with gold filament and les Lumières de Noël are artistically placed, but each small village also perfects their own holiday lights, albeit on a smaller scale. Turn the cobble stoned corner and you’ll see another type of string lights glowing above you. Good thing you still have some more vin chaud. Speaking of imbibing…
4) La Champagne et fois gras is quickly becoming a tradition that I look forward to all year. In the US champagne is largely viewed as something to say cheers with but isn’t as understood or talked about as white and red wine. We drink champagne well after the cheers has been said during our apéritif and it tastes especially magical with local fois gras made by trusted local farmers.