Sweet Paris dreams.
The holidays require some serious Paris shopping, whether you are here for vacation or because this is home. That’s gift shopping, of course: small, easy-to-pack mementos for those who couldn’t be here to stroll through the Champs Elysées Christmas market, inhaling the intoxicating aroma of spiced wine; ice-skate in the golden lights of the Hôtel de Ville; or savor a scrumptous bûche—alright, enough with the torture. To bring a bit of Paris to those at home, there are some great, very light (to pack or mail) and affordable Paris shopping choices that go beyond the obvious.
Bonjour Monsieur, Madame.
My first stop is often Gibert Joseph on Place St.-Michel, where there’s an absolutely fantastic selection of French music for the holidays and long after the tree has lost its needles. There is also a great collection of DVDs, but be careful before buying these: North America and Europe are in different zones, so the DVDs will only work if your gift is for someone with a dezoned DVD player.
A bit of oh-la-la for your bags.
Infinitely more fun and colorful, I then head to Bathroom Graffiti (BG). Not the most elegantly named shop, BG has a great selection of practical and pleasing gifts that scream of Paris. So far I have purchased a VIP bag that makes it easy for the fashionista in your life to switch handbags to go with her coat, shoes, scarves or mood. There are charming pouches with French sayings, key chains from Ladurée and even some tops from the übertrendy Eleven Paris clothing brand.
But if Paris is a passion, I only know of one boutique that specializes in the theme: Les Parisettes. From girlie-cute bed linens to the ideal scrapbook decals, from charming Eiffel Tower charms to sophisticated candles, this boutique has a phenomenal collection of Paris-o-bilia at surprisingly affordable prices. Paris shopping has never been more Paris.
Editor’s note: What about a cute Girls’ Guide logo T-shirt, market bag or apron as a little holiday gift for yourself—or a friend if you must.