The holidays are full of rich traditions that come from Earth’s beautiful diversity of cultures. These cultures, many of them, are celebrated here in Paris, from family festivities, to gourmet treats to holy observances of sacred days. One of the most magical of Parisian experiences you can have, whether you are Christian or not, is attending the midnight mass at the Cathédrale de Notre Dame de Paris on Christmas Eve. Hearing Holy Mass in a church over 800 years old fills you with a sense of the majesty of our saints throughout the ages and peering at the Baby Jesus manger, called a crèche in French, is something that the whole family is sure to enjoy.
Two musts during the holidays are indulging in gourmet treats with friends and loved ones and also looking your best while doing so. The Christophe Robin salon has an all-new location near Les Halles in what has become a very fashionable and trendy neighborhood (Montorgueil). What’s more, he’s installed an over sized Venus clam shell that doubles as a hair washbasin that anyone is welcome to use when you wander in looking to try out some of his all-natural and Super hair care products. It works like this: Walk in, tell the staff that you’d like to shampoo your hair using their products and they will welcome you and hand you a hair dryer and a bespoke boar-bristle hair brush (that is DYI) once your hair is shampooed. The Venus basin can accommodate two people at once so a couple of friends or a few family members can make this an outing.
Once you’ve gotten yourselves all pretty and prepped it’s time to go off and meet the rest of the party for that elegant afternoon tea, hot chocolate and pastries. One of the most festive holiday-makers in Paris is the exquisite Plaza Athenee. They really do everything up in ribbons and bows for the season and indulging in a few pastries from Executive Chef Patissier Angelo Musa is an experience the whole family will enjoy. Note: if popping in and taking some pastries to go for that special holiday meal is more to your agenda, why not check out the brand new Michalak pastry and chocolate shop just near Place St. Sulpice in St. Germain-des-Pres?
And though it’s not an outing reserved just for the boys, while the girls are having their beauty time, the boys could take that as their cue to try out the Retro Tour. This is a unique tour in Paris done with vintage-style side cars. It’s like whizzing through the narrow streets and and broad avenues of the city pretending that you are Snoopy and the Red Baron. The bikes are vintage-looking only, meaning they are brand new and up to safety regulations. Also provided for the colder months is a blanket and of course helmets so the ride is as comfortable as it is entertaining.