Galeries Lafayettes upside down Christmas Tree

Standing the Christmas Tree Tradition On Its Head

Really you have to hand it to to the Parisians for turning Christmas upside down, or more, specifically, the Christmas tree upside down.  Every year there is a gorgeous and massive 25 metre (82 foot) Christmas Tree in the centre of the Galeries Lafayettes store on Boulevard Haussman under the iconic Art Nouveau dome. This year in keeping with the store’s theme for Christmas, a monster Christmas, the tree is upside down.

Galeries Lafayettes upside down Christmas Tree

Jerry Hall started off the festivities on November 5th unveiling the tree and the coordinating window displays for a “Monster Christmas”.  This video shows how the tree was built up carefully from the bottom up.

In the department store’s windows, Gustave the Monster is the gang leader of a bunch of merry monsters who are creating mayhem with Christmas.

Window Display Monster Christmas

This Christmas tree is a marked departure from the trees of the two previous years. The 2012 tree was bedazzled in Swarovski crystals.  Lots of old school glam created by 120 crystal ornaments on a tree resting on a base of 5000 little crystals hanging down.

The old school glam was continued in the window displays with scenes of figurines dressed in vintage dior outfits.  Is it wrong to covet a doll’s handbag?!

Vintage Dior

The 2013 tree had cute little creatures topped off by a giant owl which completely entranced my children. Cute AND sparkly – of course it was a winner!

The snowy owl was so pretty we had to get our own version!

owl decoration

The matching window display had a Christmas scene with mischievous mice.  Of course, French mice eat lobster for Christmas dinner.

mice cook

Galeries Lafayette expects 150,000 people a day to visit the store and see the Christmas decorations.  If you are travelling with children, the window displays have little viewing platforms for the children to stand on so that they can see the mechanical figurines in action.  It is indeed a crush of people but not for the children.

What do you think of the world’s first upside Christmas tree? I am impressed with the way that Galeries Lafayette change their style radically ever year in order to keep their Christmas look fresh.

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I am an American expat based in London with my travel-loving family. I write at Just Go Places Blog about luxury, cultural and family travel.

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