Day 198: Evolve!

As December is creeping up on us, little by little the Christmas lights are finally being illuminated on the street casting a dreamlike essence of this already beautiful city. Unlike in The U.S where once the lights are put up in, like, October, they are also turned on. Here, they wait a bit where after the lights have been put up they won't be turned on until weeks later.

Anticipating the illumination of the lights along the Champs-Elysées that over the past 3 years have kicked-off the holiday season for me, I have to say that I am disappointed with this year's design. In lieu of last year's twinkling blue lights that were more traditional and appeared to be dripping off the trees that line the famous boulevard, this year is an eco-friendly conceptual design that's reminiscent of something out of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Not very Christmas-y, if you ask me.

While nothing turned out how I had planned and if I had a glimpse of what my life would become this time last year, I'd probably have fainted from total shock. But again, everything happens the way it's supposed to and change allows us to evolve and grow. Even the Champs-Elysées is moving on to a new era.

Last year I made this video of all the Christmas lights in Paris from The Eiffel Tower to Oberkampf for my Aunt Terri who was suffering through an L.A heatwave. Enjoy this super cheesy time machine back to 2010.

Bon week-end!


  1. Very nice! Don't laugh, but a friend and I tried to go to Champs-Elysees last year to check out the Christmas markets and we managed to get lost and, from a starting point of the Louvre, we ended up in Bastille. Ha ha! (It was not either of our first visit to Paris, but what can I say, we're hopeless!) Ended up drinking Vouvray in the airport (and almost getting snowed in for a Paris Christmas).

  2. Lovely! Can't wait to see the lights this year!:) Only saw part of them last year (we were there to ring in the New Year) and never made it to the Champs-Élysées (my husband absolutely HATES that part of town!) and I'm quite disappointed to hear that they don't look promising:( Oh well:)

    Paris in the snow is magical. Would love to experience that at some point (I know I will:)).

    So, have you decided to stay in Paris for the Holidays, finally?


  3. I loved your video (and agree with your opinion of this year's lights). Thanks for sharing it with me - I live in New Zealand where Christmas is in the summer of course!

  4. Great video - I just hope that someone else was driving while you were filming! Last year's Christmas lights looked way better than the futuristic ones this year. Maybe they'll grow on people and we'll actually like them by the time they take them down in 2015.

  5. Thanks for linking to my post about this year's Christmas lights on the Champs Elysees. I should have clicked on it before writing my first comment! :-)

  6. what a fun video to watch! i read Mary Kay's post and was not impressed with this year's lights... but am still very excited to see Paris in December and to get back "home."

    Happy almost December!

  7. I know thought I'd turn into a Xmas decorating sap but I'm am itching to put mine up! But even though Thanksgiving has passed I'm trying to wait until at least 1st December. That said, I so wish I lived in a city again and walk under twinkling lights everyday!

  8. @Gwan - Ah, you just walked the wrong direction! I use to get super lost here too when I first came, it's normal! Getting lost when you're not in a rush is so much fun! I try to get lost here now when I have an afternoon to kill and fail miserably. Paris really is a small town. Glad you didn't get snowed in...was this last year? If so, it was a nightmare over here!!!

    @Duchess - I will not be here for Xmas BECAUSE I got into school (here in Paris!) and have to go back to the U.S to sort out a lot of administrative things. While I really want to stay in Paris for the holidays, I'm going back in order to stay here indefinitely, so it's for a good cause but it's a bit chiant to say the least. : /

    @Annonymous - I'm glad you liked the video! I've always wondered what it felt like to have Christmas in the summer. I have family who live in Christschurch, NZ who say they want a to experience a White Christmas! The grass is always greener! Thanks for commenting!

    @MK - The driver in that video was a cameo of Monsieur Flaneur himself. Me? Drive in Paris? Are you crazy!? I can barely walk down the street in my platform heels! And your post was fantastic, really detailed and comprehensive in re: to the Champs lights. I couldn't NOT link it back!

    @Kbh - Thanks!!! I hope you are enjoying your time back in The U.S. I enjoyed your Penn State pics. I spent a weekend in State College (my cousin went to PSU) and it was quiet an experience. : )

    @Sara - There aren't any lights by you? There isn't like a 'village square' that puts up a Joyeuses Fetes banner?

    I'm ashamed that I have been in France for over two years and only really familiar with Paris and Nice and forget how rural most of the country is. I'm trying to get better with weekend trips and such but I'm a sad excuse for an expat. Will you post pics of your decorations? : )

    As usual, thanks for commenting everyone! : )

  9. Yeah we were being "we're not tourists, we know where it is, we don't need a map" and considering it is ridiculously easy I'm sure we would have managed if we weren't going the wrong way!

    Yep, last year I think I was on the last flight out of CDG for the night, finally got where I was going 6 hours late or something like that.

    Christmas in the summer is... fine. December in NZ isn't the best time of year really and we have nothing to look forward to all winter, so I think people have it better over this side of the world. I still get over-excited by snow (unless it's screwing up my flights).

    And congrats on getting into school!

  10. PS and now I have that song stuck in my head again... you know the one "Oh Champs-Elysées, dee dee dee dee dee, oh Champs-Elysées..."

  11. @Gwan - This whole time I thought you were British! Well I assumed it from your British English spellings. How funny, I just learned something new!

    I totally know what you mean, when I first came to Paris I refused to ask for directions or look at map. I was trying to be all "local" but all it did was get me lost...good thing I wasn't working at the time!

    And thanks for the wishes about school!! Ch-ch-channnnnnges!

  12. My parents are English, so you weren't far wrong :) We all spell like Brits though!

  13. Someone else disappointed in the lights...