I have always haaaaaaated (extra “a”s most definitely necessary) shopping malls; every time I leave one, I tend to feel cranky, sweaty, and like I didn’t actually find what I came for in the first place. And so, visiting Le Bon Marché, one of Paris’s grand department stores, was never high on my priority list.
One day after work, however, I decided I had to visit La Grande Épicerie, the gigantic food emporium at Le Bon Marché. Because I was already in the neighborhood, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to pop into Le Bon Marché. Perhaps the store would be decorated beautifully for the holidays, I reasoned, and that would make it all worth it. And if not, I’d just turn and leave immediately, no harm done.
It’s pretty clear where this is going, though, isn’t it? Instead of hating Le Bon Marché, I loved it. Maybe it was just the spirit of Christmas, but I found the store sort of … magical?? Which is not a word I ever apply to shopping.
The fun starts right when you arrive, as the store’s exterior is all decked out for Christmas. The window displays were cute, but my favorite had to be the lights: hundreds (thousands?) of lightbulbs, dangling from the store’s awnings. It looks so cool!
Inside, there were tons of displays super dangerous for my wallet. I browsed through the second floor’s gift area – with all kinds of specialty products clearly set up just for the holiday season – and nabbed a few of the best smelling candles I have ever found for my friends. Then it was up to the third floor for the BEST. THING. EVER.
Unbeknownst to me, Le Bon Marché sets up an ornament emporium each holiday season. There are several gigantic trees and then rows and rows and rows of the most beautiful, sparkliest ornaments you ever did see. I used what I considered to be a considerable amount of restraint and still walked away with a ton of ornaments.
Here are just a few of my favorite ornaments:
I loved this watering can and bought one for my mom:
And I loved these wellies and bought them for myself:
They had tons of these gorgeous, intricate egg ornaments and I was a huge fan:
How cute is this jam jar?!?
They had a whole section of tropical/Hawaii/Florida-themed ornaments, which seemed a bit random but produced some amazing results, like these guys:
And, of course, their decorated bulbs were out-of-this-world. This is only a teeny tiny fraction of them:
I don’t know when next I’ll be lucky enough to visit Paris at Christmastime, but I know when I do, Le Bon Marché will be right at the top of my list. It was incredible.