November 29, 2018
France is known for its beautiful Christmas markets. The most quintessential one being in Alsace, in Strasbourg and Colmar. There are more than 300 kiosks with everything from handmade knits to delicious treats. The only downside to its popularity is that it can be very crowded, but it is worth going once in a lifetime.
While originally made for children, the windows get more and more sophisticated every year, and we think there's nothing better than going to see them to get into the holiday spirit. Not in Paris? Many cities have beautiful window displays for the holidays. In NY, I love viewing the Saks one. The trick is to go late at night when most families are already back home.
This quintessential winter activity is just as popular in France as it is here! You can find many outdoor ice skating rinks and they are even a few indoor ones if you'd like to go fast and escape the crowds. This year, there will be a giant one in the Tuileries gardens right by the Louvre, or you can also go to the one inside the Grand Palais. A magical scenery awaits!
Sadly, the tradition of Christmas movies is not as developed in France as it is here. And I don't think I could even name a French movie that I would call a "Christmas movie". But "Home Alone" is one of these movies that is always on TV in France during the holiday season - and I personally love it. It's a family classic that I always enjoy snuggled in a blanket with a cup of delicious French hot chocolate.
Candied chestnuts are a luxurious French holiday treat, rumored to have been invented by a candy maker for Louis XIV. These delicate sweets require more than 10 steps and about 15 days to go from simple chestnuts to exquisite treats. Chestnuts are first cooked in boiling water and successively immersed in a sugar syrup followed by a period of air drying. This step can be repeated 3 or 4 times depending on the candy maker, and chestnuts often break in the process. They are hard to find in the US, but we have them as it is Noemie's favorite holiday treats.