This is a whole article dedicated to 🎄 Christmastime chez vous au Pays du Mont-Blanc, and you’ll find information about :
- 🎄 where to buy your own Christmas tree locally;
- ✨ where to buy your Christmas decorations locally;
- ✉️🎅 where to post your letters to Santa;
- 📦 Les Boites de Noël – Secours Populaire;
- 🎨 some ideas for Christmas craft chez vous;
⇒ for more information about 🎄Christmas markets & villages de Noël see separate MBFF article here;
⇒ for more information about ⛸ SEASONAL ICE-SKATING RINKS, see separate MBFF article here;
⇒ for more information about 🎄Christmastime & Holiday Season au Pays du Mont-Blanc . . .
- 🎄 the lighting of town and village CHRISTMAS TREES (illuminations du sapin) in December;
- ✨ dazzling light shows & illuminations;
- big Christmas events;
- local Christmas events – Santa arrival, spectacles, storytelling etc . . .
- 🎶 Christmas concerts and church services . . .
. . . head over to separate MBFF article here;
Colour code for listings:
Chamonix Valley (Chamonix, Argentière, Les Houches, Servoz & environs) and Vallorcine
Passy & environs
Sallanches, Combloux, Cordon & Domancy
Saint-Gervais-Mont-Blanc, Le Fayet, Saint-Nicolas de Véroce & environs
Megève, Praz-sur-Arly & environs
Les Contamines-Montjoie & environs
🇫🇷 Further France
Choosing 🎄 your own Christmas tree to take home and decorate is a lovely family tradition . . . here are some suggestions 🏔 au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and nearby):
Garden centres & other Christmas tree points of sale
🎄 Les Jardins de Talèfre (Les Praz de Chamonix) – lots of seasonal cheer at this garden centre! / FB page;
🎄 La Jardinerie de Taconnaz (Taconnaz) – this lovely garden centre last year created its own little Marché de Noël, with 🌰 roasted chestnuts and ✉️ a postbox for Letters to Santa / FB page / address: 23 route de Taconnaz, 74310, Les Houches;
🎄 Gamm Vert (Sallanches) – you’ll perhaps have passed this jardinerie on the main road to Sallanches? We’ve bought many a Christmas tree from here, as it is our most local garden centre! / address: 1501 route du Fayet, 74700, Sallanches;
🎄 Agri Sud Est (Sallanches) – on the main road heading towards Carrefour / address: 260 avenue de Genève, 74700, Sallanches;
🎄 La Fruitière des Producteurs du Mont-Blanc (Domancy) – FB page / address: 63 impasse de la Fruitière, 74700, Domancy;
🎄 APE Alpes Marie Paradis (Saint-Gervais) – with money raised going to the school APE;
🎄 Au Jardin Mégevan (Demi-Quartier) – address: 200 route de Sallanches, 74120, Demi-Quartier;
🎄 big supermakets – and then, of course, the big supermarkets also have a point of sale on-site!
🌲 La Maison Pugin – at this Christmas tree farm (pépinière) in Reignier (near Annemasse), you can 🌲 choose and cut down your own sapin ( « venez choisir et couper votre sapin » ) on 🗓 these THREE WEEKENDS in November and December: 27th & 28th November, 4th & 5th December and 11th & 12th December 2021 (from 9h until 16h30) / this year, there will be a large point de vente area in Reignier (opposite the station), with on offer for children: 🎨 workshops and games; storytelling and a visit from Santa (the Haute-Savoie one!); also 🐑 des animaux de la ferme . . . and for adults: a champagne and oyster bar, artisanal Maison Pugin beer, fondue . . . / 🚌 NEW for this year: to avoid too many vehicles at the farm, you’ll need to book a navette to take you from the Reignier point de vente to the farm (the farm will then transport your tree to your car) / 🌲 price of sapins: from 25€ / ⇒ for more information about « venez choisir et couper votre sapin », see website / ⇒ read more about MBFF’s visit to 🌲 La Maison Pugin, in separate MBFF article / address: Maison Pugin, Reignier;
Eco Christmas Trees
Perhaps you are resisting buying 🌲 a real Christmas tree this year? . . . In which case, perhaps you are looking to invest in a reusable wooden tree? The Repère des Z’Héros shop in Sallanches sells some wooden trees. Try also 🌲 the garden centres au Pays du Mont-Blanc: Jardinerie de Taconnaz, and design shop Cocktail Scandinave (Chamonix), Botanic®, Gamm Vert & Agri Sud Est (Sallanches), . . . there is also treeCycled Morzine . . .
I go a little gaga over 🎄 Christmas decorations, and tend to find myself with a new one each year! Here are some of my favourite spots for buying decorations au Pays du Mont-Blanc:
- Studio rūsc (Chamonix) – last year, some beautiful hand-crafted porcelain decorations were made here;
- La Jardinerie de Taconnaz (Taconnaz) – la magical little winter wonderland at this garde store, and this year’s theme is Lapland!
- Cocktail Scandinave (Chamonix) – I bought my very first Chamonix decorations for my little studio flat here! The Christmas section is just lovely!
- botanic® (Sallanches) – over the years, I have come away with quite a few ” essential ” Christmas decorations from this garden centre’s lovely Christmas section!
- Gamm Vert (Sallanches) – Christmas trees and more – a large selection!
- Monoprix (Sallanches) – a lovely little section upstairs!
- Bricorama (Domancy) – they’ve created a Christmas market! / address: Zone Commerciale De La Pallud, 74700, Domancy;
Over the last couple of years, I’ve designed ✉️ a couple of templates for my boys’ letters to 🎅 Santa, on the fabulous Canva app . . . if you’d like a copy of one of these in pdf, do send me a message via FB, and I’ll be happy to send it to you (English and French version!).
✉️ where to send your letters to Santa?
I know of THREE places for now au Pays du Mont-Blanc . . . please let me know of any others you’re famliar with!
- ✉️ La Jardinerie de Taconnaz (TACONNAZ) – what a sparkling red box!
- ✉️ Place Charles Albert (SALLANCHES) – in amongst the farm animals and general bling, you’ll find this yellow post box!
- ✉️ La Panière (SALLANCHES) – a boîte aux lettres au Père Noël at this boulangerie! And, what’s more: ” Écrivez au Père Noël sans oublier d’inscrire vos coordonnées (nom, prénom, adresse postale) et il vous répondra sur son temps libre en vous offrant un petit cadeau ! Dépêchez-vous, après le 15 décembre il n’aura plus le temps de vous répondre. “;
And further afield you have:
- ✉️ Le Hameau du Père Noël (Saint-Blaise, Mont Sion);
- ✉️ Carouge – as part of the Christmas decorations and illuminations of Carouge Magique, children can post a letter to Santa (and even get a reply!);
Advent Calendars, Christmas Chocolates & Bûches de Noël
Our 🍫 local chocolate artisans spoil us at 🎄 Christmastime: advent calendars, exquisite chocolate boxes to offer as gifts, Christmas-shaped chocolates . . .
[ ⇒ for a list of some of our wonderful 🍫 artisans chocolatiers au Pays du Mont-Blanc and in the Chamonix Valley, see separate MBFF article here ]
You’ll also see lots of bags of 🍬 papillotes for sale in the supermarkets – this is very typical in France over the holiday season. Papillotes are golden or silver wrapped chocolates or pâte de fruits, with a message inside (a riddle, a joke or a quote). Legend has it that papillotes originated from Lyon (quartier des Terreaux) at the end of teh 18th century, ” quand le jeune commis d’un confiseur eut l’idée, pour charmer sa belle qui travaillait à l’étage au-dessus, d’envoyer ses petits mots d’amour enveloppés autour d’une confiserie ” – there are two endings to this story: one happy, one sadder! (Wikipedia). One of the main brands in France of papillotes is Révillon.
Another tradition in France at Christmastime is and Bûches de Noël (Christmas logs). Your local patisseries created exquisite ones!
For some super ideas for 🎨 Christmas craft with kids, see these websites (and there are plenty more!):
For me, Christmastime is definitely the time to 🥨 get BAKING en famille – the scents of Christmas spices get everyone in the spirit!
[ ⇒ see MBFF article here for some ideas for Christmas baking ]
I’ll also be giving this idea from Little Pine Learners – for a Christmas Simmer Pot – a go this year – I’ll see if it keeps my kitchen and dining area smelling Christmas-y . . .
📦 Les Boîtes de Noêl – le Secours Populaire
📦 Les Boîtes de Noêl pour les plus démunis is a country-wide social project, organised for the first time last year by the Secours Populaire.
This year, in our local area, it is organised by the Secours Populaire de Chamonix, with the collection of boxes from the 1st November ⇒ 15th December 2021.
There are lots of points of collection; see here for current list.
Last year, when the larger Christmas markets were cancelled, it seemed the appropiate moment to write an article about buying locally! Supporting our local artisans is still – and always – a great thing to do!
[ ⇒ see MBFF article MBFF’s suggestions for buying locally this Christmastime au Pays du Mont-Blanc for some ideas about buying locally ]
🎄 Bonnes Fêtes ! 🎄