One can easily imagine the elegance of a Christmas party set in Paris. If you have been to Paris, display some of your photos and souvenirs in focal points. If children will be present, play animated movies, such as “Ratatouille,” in a side room for them to enjoy as the animation clearly catches the twinkling lights of the city’s allure. Of course, to stay true to the city, it’s important to have two main areas of focus: food and beauty.
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Since Paris is known as the city of lights, plentiful lights in decorating are a must. With a concentration of white lights, the décor will stay refined and elegant while filling the space with cheer and romance. Obviously, an Eiffel Tower will quickly add that Paris feel to the party area. There are many versions readily available at event supply stores, from table-top sizes to those over 10-feet tall. To add more of a holiday feel, use additional lights and some red Christmas accents.
Mulled wine and champagne are the drinks of choice for a French Christmas gathering. However, for some non-alcoholic alternatives, consider heating up non-alcoholic red wine in lieu of the mulled wine and sparkling white grape juice as a stand-in for the champagne. Gingerbread, roasted chestnuts, fresh oysters, foie gras and smoked salmon will all ring true as Parisian holiday party food. If serving dinner, consider roast chicken, turkey or goose, and be sure to end on a high note with a chocolate Yule log.
Eating, shopping and ice skating are the Christmas activities of choice for the Parisian holiday season. If possessing the resources, consider creating a holiday rink for ice, roller or sock skating. If inviting children to the party, host a parade with a French theme park as inspiration. Encourage people to dance in honor of the Festival des Inrockuptibles, one of the country’s largest rock music festivals scheduled in early winter.
When decorating your Christmas tree, consider mirroring the simple adornments of the Notre Dame de Paris Christmas tree with white lights and balls of shiny, red, glass ornaments. To decorate in American-Parisian fare, use plenty of white lights, black and white glass ornaments and mini-Eiffel Towers.
One of the most compelling draws of the Parisian city at Christmas is that of the department store window displays, much as in New York. Window display themes have varied from toy-building reindeer to whimsical, animated photo-taking polar bears. Use an elegant, muted color palette with tasteful inspiration true to one idea per window.