We’re crazy about Christmas!
We love everything about Christmastime and the Christmas season.
When we had our home in Australia, we would put the tree up in early November, and decorate it whilst Christmas music played in the background. Our front garden was filled with lights and giant inflatables, and Santa was on a rope coming from the outside of the chimney. Inside out home, we had a giant singing Santa, and many musical wind-up toys and angels. We would go to the Christmas Pageant and visit the fairy lights of German hillside villages/towns dotted in the Adelaide Hills. We would attend Christmas church plays, and go and see the nativity scene.
The lead up to Christmas, to me, is as important as Christmas Eve and Christmas Day itself.
Then there was the Christmas baking, and crafts to be made that were hung around the house. It was a time we would do things together as a Mum and son, and a precious and treasured time building memories that will last a lifetime.
Yes, you can say I am crazy about Christmas.
So it is not surprising that we decided to head to Europe for a white Christmas.
But before we ‘hit the snow’ we first want to see many of the Christmas Markets or Villages de Noël.
So far in Paris, France we have seen the decorated hotels, stores, and the Champs Elysees Market, and we want to go and spend time at the La Défense Christmas Market too.
Village de Noël flashes its Christmas lights before us as we check into our room at Hotel Pullman Paris La Défense. This modern city hotel is just ‘the most perfect’ location we could wish for!
Our first day we unpack and settle into our hotel room, and darkness is creeping in so then decide to head to the Christmas Market.
We passed the giant brass sculpture of ‘The Pouce’, and the upside down ‘U-shaped’ building of La Défense (which amazes me – it is so slim!) This area is a modern architectural delight.
With the glow of the red giant lit ball, we go enter through security and into the market area.
Little did we realize the market closes at 8:00 p.m., but we have time to taste yummy French cheeses, Vin Chaud (Mulled Wine), Chocolates, Cognacs, and so much more. Explorason was in ‘sample heaven’ and we really left feeling rather full.
There is a giant futuristic shopping mall adjacent, so we headed in there to gather some last minute Christmas gifts. Strange as it sounds, Explorason and I also love homewares stores, and we enjoyed a good hour gasping over the items in Habitat before returning to the hotel.
With the Metro, bus, and train all in the centre of La Défense (and a direct line with La Défense as the end station) this is an easy place to stay, and a great place to stay for anyone who doesn’t want the hassle of switching Metro or trains to arrive in the centre of town.
The next day we decided to go in via the train to the city center.
It might be the end of November, but the sky was azure blue and perfect for visiting Notre Dame and Saint Chapelle.
We returned to the Hotel Pullman Paris La Défense for a rest and use of the unlimited wifi which made Explorason very happy, whilst I headed to the gym, rest area, and sauna/steam room.
Then, of course, it was back to the Christmas Market for us once more. Musicians play, and a lady from the evening before welcomed me like an old friend. We have found the French hospitality has been amazing since we have been in Paris. I speak very little French, but it has not been a problem at all – we just try with the few words we know.
It is time to return to the hotel as the cold evening air sets in, and a perfect time to sit and relax in the bar area – this seems to be where the action is.
There is also a cute relaxation area on the ground floor also, with some colorful giraffes that remind me of our travels in Africa.
On our final full day, we wake early to enjoy a hearty cooked breakfast. The hotel is bustling but we sit for about an hour and take our time.
On our last afternoon, we go into the Champs Elysees Village de Noël for our grand farewell of Paris and return for one last visit to Village de Noël La Défense before we tuck ourselves into our cozy room.
If you are looking for the perfect location to explore both of the Villages de Noël or Christmas Markets, I’d recommend staying at the Hotel Pullman Paris La Défense.