It’s the most wonderful time of they year – at least, that’s what the songs say. When it comes down to it, though, is Christmas really better than any other time of the year? The movies always show Christmas as a time when loved ones come together. Whether it’s a first kiss under the mistletoe or a father’s realisation that family is the true gift, films at this time of year always centre around romance. I dare say that everyone wants their life to be like a movie, kisses and laughter shared by a fire. The best way to escape real life, the closest thing we can come to living in a fairy tale-like movie, is by leaving behind the trouble of work and jetting off on a Christmas holiday.
This year my partner and I went on holiday to Paris, forgoing our tradition of visiting Winter Wonderland in London in favour of the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe. From the moment we arrived, Christmas spirit was in the air and lights twinkled on every corner. On the first night, we stumbled upon a small Christmas market by chance, music floating down the Seine. It was comfortingly familiar and put our nerves of being away from home at ease. As we sat on a bench under warm glowing lights, I knew this holiday would be the best yet.
Whereas normally walks between tourist attractions would be tedious and tiring, the markets provided refuge and made it a little more magical
The holiday continued as it began, hidden markets found on unexpected streets and grand decorations adorning the front of shops, small and large. Many people paused in front of shop fronts to gaze at the lights and animated displays. My personal highlight was a set of dogs popping out of fake chimneys, barking beloved Christmas songs, although it seemed to have nothing to do with what they sold, it made myself and other customers flock into the shop.
The Christmas markets provided an excuse to spoil each other with inexpensive treats: a bag of churros was shared, sugar coating our fingers. Whereas normally walks between tourist attractions would be tedious and tiring, the markets provided refuge and made it a little more magical. Although neither my partner or I were brave enough to try ice skating (the last time we attempted it consisted of a lot of wobbling, saying “I think I have the hang of it now”, followed by face-planting the hard ice), it was nice to see other couples and families circle the rink.
In my opinion, it is impossible to go to Paris without visiting Disneyland. Having visited for a day in the summer, I was excited to see how the park has changed for the holidays. I was not disappointed in the decorations and it is safe to say that Christmas makes Disneyland even more magical. Triumphant music follows you down Main Street and there are garlands hung anywhere that can be reached. Seasonal flowers grow in front of Sleeping Beauty’s castle and there are Christmas trees on every corner: Disney spared no expense when decorating the park. To add to the magic, some characters only appear at this time of year: Jack Skellington was ready to meet visitors outside Phantom Manor, dressed in his iconic Santa costume.
For a moment the world fell away and Christmas truly worked its magic, nothing else mattered and our short holiday had allowed us to become characters in our own film, kissing as the snow settled gently on the ground
Christmas made the park ever more magical and it is hard to resist the twinkling lights, music and infectious joy. Although I had been in the summer with my partner, I felt closer to him than before because of the festivities. Moreover, the heat in the summer had been unbearable, whereas the chill that hangs in the air only acts as an excuse to cuddle closer.
At the end of the night, when the parade drew to an end, snow began to float softly down and rest on our heads. Looking up to see if the snow was natural or another part of the Disney magic, I couldn’t help but gaze at the person I love with all of my heart and feel that I had been teleported into one of those romantic Christmas films. For a moment the world fell away and Christmas truly worked its magic, nothing else mattered and our short holiday had allowed us to become characters in our own film, kissing as the snow settled gently on the ground.