Sunday, January 06, 2008

Puttin' on the Christmas Ritz at the Jourdain Metro

One of the laments I often hear from Americans in Paris (a lament which I have voiced myself) is that it's just not Christmas-y enough here around the holidays. Yes, in the States it can be too much - over the top, sickening, smothering, Christmas music blaring in every store and on every corner, etc. But in Paris sometimes it's almost too discreet. For instance, here it is, two weeks after Christmas, and I still feel like I didn't get enough of it! That would never be the case in the States, where you literally feel Christmas-ed out by January 1st and ready to strangle Santa Claus along with his elves and reindeer.

Paris is a beautiful city, and knows how to show itself off, but it doesn't necessarily know how to be joyfully festive for the holidays. There is always a certain restrained elegance which simply forbids any kind of excess or "loudness" when it comes to decoration. Which is why I was so surprised when we came upon the decorations at the Jourdain Metro the other night. The entrance was literally festooned with pine branches and fabrics and lights, and there were huge blue garlands and blinking lights strung across the streets. No Santas or elves, but certainly a lot of excessive holiday "stuff." Now that's what I'm talkin' about! Christmas-y!
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