To celebrate the season, I’m sharing clips, extras, and behind-the-scenes notes from Rick Steves’ European Christmas.
Today we travel to France, where Christmas is the stuff of dreams. Rich sounds of medieval carols abound, simple rituals are shared by families and friends, and when days are short and nights are long, it’s customary to leave a single candle flickering in the window.
We found that Paris celebrates Christmas with its typical urban flair: extravagant lighting, yummy window displays, and ice skating up on the Eiffel Tower. And the Burgundian countryside surprised us with its rustic, small-town enthusiasm for the spirit of Christmas. Highlights included following the mayor (with her flaming-red hair and sack of gifts) as she visited her town’s senior citizens, enjoying a humble picnic in the woods with the guys out to chop some firewood, and filming a private concert of intimate medieval carols in an ancient abbey.