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Galeries Lafayette Christmas Tree: Festive Season in Paris

Each and every year, from mid November onwards, a giant tree is erected in the very heart of Galeries Lafayette’s central court. Glittering against the dazzling backdrop of the art-nouveau architecture, the Galeries Lafayette Christmas tree is a sight to behold in of itself and makes a wander into the iconic department store well worth it…

Galeries Lafayette Christmas Tree 2015

In Christmas, the ‘Grands Magasins’ (Galeries Lafayette, Printemps and BHV to name but a few) have been decorating their storefronts in time for the festive season for well over fifty years. The tradition of the Galeries Lafayette Christmas tree dates back over a decade.

Each year you’ll find sparkling trees underneath the glittering art-nouveau dome of the large department store. In 2015, the theme was ‘from another planet’ and as a result, the tree was decorated with a variety of silvers, golds and meteor shaped decorations.

Galeries Lafayette Christmas tree: feeling festive in Paris, France
Galeries Lafayette Christmas tree: feeling festive in Paris, France 2015

Galeries Lafayette Christmas Tree 2016

The Christmas theme of 2016 was ‘arctic’, and the store’s atmosphere invoked icy scenes and snowy nights. The winter wonderland display instore came complete with paper ski lifts traversing to and from the tree, as well as paper creations of bears, trees and other arctic animals.

The entire central tree was made entirely from paper (for the very first time and created by Lorenzo Papace, a French artist born in Lyon in 1986). All in all, the tree and window decorations really were a sight to behold!

Galeries Lafayette Christmas tree: feeling festive in Paris, France 2016
Galeries Lafayette Christmas tree: feeling festive in Paris, France 2016

Galeries Lafayette Christmas Tree 2017

For the 2017 festive season, the Galeries Lafayette tree was created entirely of inflatables (reminding me of my favourite doughnut inflatable that didn’t really leave my side this summer!).

The theme was ‘Spectacular, Spectacular’– like the film- and the mood is all about invoking the ‘inner child’ in each and every one of us. The tree was created from candy, balloons and plenty of fun, making it well worth a look!

Galeries Lafayette Christmas tree: feeling festive in Paris, France 2017
Galeries Lafayette Christmas tree: feeling festive in Paris, France 2017

Galeries Lafayette Christmas Tree 2018

All green and gold glitter, the 2018 tree is almost as sparkly as that of 2015. The tree is sponsored by luxury watchmaker, Piaget, and invokes a magical world, whereby imaginary creatures have been created from wire and stars dance above.

The 2018 window displays outside the store are equally as interesting to admire. And for this season, they’ve been created by children aged 5-11 who won a contest where they had to draw their favourite heroes.

Galeries Lafayette Christmas Tree: Festive Season in Paris
Galeries Lafayette Christmas Tree: Festive Season in Paris

Galeries Lafayette Christmas Tree 2019

For 2019, the theme of the year is that of the hive. While the top of the tree is crowned with a glittering angel (complete with wings), head the bottom of the tree, where the beauty counters are to be found, and you can expect to discover thousands of twinkling lights.

Opened by the Belgian- French actress Virginia Efira and inaugurated from the 20th of November onwards, in 2019 the Galeries Lafayette fagship store is also hosting its first ever ice skating rink. Otherwise, head to the Grand cupola and you’ll soon spy that there’s a grand light show on the tree in the art nouveau area every half hour.

Galeries Lafayette Christmas Tree 2019
Galeries Lafayette Christmas Tree 2019

Galeries Lafayette Christmas Tree 2020

In 2020, the theme of the Galeries Lafayette Christmas Tree is, rather ironically, travel. The tree was designed by Belgian artist, Tom Schamp, whose main body of work consists of creating 2D comics for children.

The 11 window displays and tree follow the journey of Celeste, a young girl who travels the world to meet fantastical beats (many of whom are loosely based on and inspired by Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince). 

If you want a particularly unique view of the tree, then you may well want to queue to walk along the glass walk which is free to wander along and provides a bird’s eye view of the tree. The Galeries Lafayette Christmas Tree in 2020 was also filmed and used as a backdrop for a scene in the 2021 Netflix rom-com Christmas Flow.

Galeries Lafayette Christmas Tree: Festive Season in Paris

Galeries Lafayette Christmas Tree 2021

In 2021, the Galeries Lafayette Christmas Tree is once more open for the public to enjoy and admire. The theme of the tree is 1,2,3… Noël (1,2,3… Christmas). For the project, the artist Léa Chassagne was tasked with creating whimsical and fun recreations of classic childhood toys for the festive tree.

The story goes that the decorations are all about the story of toys who live in a cosmic Christmas village. The tree will be up until the 31st December 2021. There is an interesting light show every 30 minutes and the rest of the department store is decked out for Christmas as well!

galeries lafayette christmas tree 2021

Galeries Lafayette Rooftop Terrace

On the very top floor of the department store’s flagship store on Boulevard Haussmann, you’ll find a set of escalators. Step onto them and you’ll be transported right up, high above the rooftops of Paris.

The Galeries Lafayette Rooftop Terrace offers what is easily one of the best panoramic views of Paris and it’s free to visit- bonus! Head here to see iconic sights such as the Paris opera house, Eiffel Tower and Les Invalides.

Galeries Lafayette Rooftop Terrace: one of the best panoramic views of Paris, France
Galeries Lafayette Rooftop Terrace: one of the best panoramic views of Paris, France

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Christmas Lights In Lafayette La - MerryChristmas

Wednesday 1st of December 2021

[…] Galeries Lafayette Christmas Tree: Festive Season in Paris . […]

Sheila

Monday 25th of February 2019

I loved this post! How interesting you could put pics of the Christmas tree for so many years! Thanks for sharing, Sophie!

Janine Thomas

Thursday 7th of December 2017

What a great post! I love the Christmas decorations in Paris and especially those at Galeries Lafayette. Sadly I won't be in Paris this year, but next year I plan to be. This year's tree is so colourful and creative. It is definitely Parisian chic at it's best.

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