Printemps Christmas 2011 Chanel's creative Karl Lagerfeld in Paris
Christmas,  Events

Santa’s Workshop Is Open For Business

Printemps Christmas 2011 Chanel's creative Karl Lagerfeld in ParisWhat better way to kick off the holiday season, then with some holiday windows, lights, games, cartoons and a letter to Santa. The Champs-Elysées is illuminating Paris with an entirely new display along the boulevard called “Tree Rings”. The Christmas windows are lit at Galeries Lafayette in the theme of rock and roll. Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld are featured in Printemps’ windows with flight attendants, photographers and ballet dancers.

Start planning your holiday sightseeing with Lots of Christmas in Paris,  the Ferris wheel, merry-go-rounds, decorated streets and the festival/carnival at the Grand Palais. The list is long for holiday fun in Paris with holiday concerts and church services , nativity scenes, Christmas markets, holiday concerts and Christmas decorations with a Paris theme.

One hundred and seventy-five chalets are set up along the Champs-Elysées, which is expecting 14 million visitors until January 3, 2012. The lights along the  Champs-Elysées  (statistics) turn on November 22, 2011. The Ferris Wheel will turn at Place de La Concorde until February 19, 2012.

French Pere Noel (Santa) on a 1914 postcardSanta’s Secretary
In France, the idea of writing to Santa was created by the PTT Minister (Postes, télégraphes et telephones) (now La Poste (Translation to help you), Jacques Marette in 1962. Santa’s secretary answering the letters was really Mr. Marette’s sister, Françoise Dolto, a pediatrician and psychoanalyst.

The French equivalent of Santa Clause first wore a white costume, which matched his beard and the snow. He gradually adapted his suit to match other countries.

The idea of Santa Clause in a red suit came to France and was first featured in a department store poster. In 1925, the department store, Bazar de l’Hôtel de Ville (BHV) puts the red-suited Santa figure in an airplane.

Ice Skating at the Hôtel de Ville
Two rinks skating rinks are open at Hôtel de Ville between December 16 to March 4. One rink is for grown ups and the other is reserved for those under six.
Licensed rink monitors will keep an eye on the different skating levels (beginners, old-hands, groups) to help with technical tips and keep the peace.

Patinoire de l’Hôtel de Ville.
Place de l’Hôtel de Ville, Paris 4th
Metro: Hôtel de Ville (Lines 1 and 11)

Open: Monday to Friday noon to 10 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Free lessons (in French) for beginners, demonstrations, hockey, etc. Saturday and Sunday morning 10 a.m. to noon
Weekday mornings are reserved for various groups and centers in the city of Paris, including handicapped

Access to the skating rink is free for those with their own skates.
Others may rent skates for five euros. The available sizes (European) are 25 to 49. Two-blade skates (size 27 and smaller) are available for children.
A photo ID is required to rent the skates.
For safety reasons, you must wear gloves.

More Ice Skating Information

Galleries Lafayette Christmas 2011 Onstage rockers

Printemps Christmas 2011 Chanel flight crew in ParisGalleries Lafayette Christmas 2011 Backstage rockersPrintemps Christmas 2011 Chanel Ballet dancers in Paris








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This Web site and and its blog articles are for travelers to Paris who are looking for advice from someone who lives in Paris. These tips are "for Parisians at heart". Many people would like to visit, some can and some cannot - so I will help you enjoy a glimpse of the city and its surroundings. This project has been ongoing since 2002. Prior to living in Paris (since 1992) my European history began in the early 70s with three years in Wiesbaden, Germany. My next foray onto the Continent was in the mid-80s after graduation from the University of Florida (where I met Erik): traveling around Europe and UK with my friend, Margie, hitchhiking around and working in Ireland. After living and working as a journalist in Sweden for four years, traveling on boats, the Trans-Siberian Railway, local trains and planes took Erik and I around the world. I began working as a flight attendant in 1990 for American Airlines, based in Chicago. We moved to Paris, France in 1992 where I commuted between Paris and Chicago for my flight attendant/stewardess job. Finally my inner voice said "Stop!" and I left American Airlines six weeks shy of 20 years January 1, 2010. Now that is over and I am back working as a journalist and photographer full time on - My videos are posted on YouTube on the colleensparis youtube channel. and I am active in Toastmasters 75. Enjoy!