Christmas in Paris - The Galeries Lafayette Christmas Tree

Paris is often referred to as the City of Lights, and it is during Christmas Time that this is more relevant than ever. Even in very difficult times, like the current situation with the pandemic restricting our every move, Paris has still put the Christmas decorations up and it is more beautiful than ever. For us at Cherry Blossom in Paris, we know it is Christmas, when the glamorous Galeries Lafayette Christmas Tree is hung from the grand dome of the historic department store in Boulevard Haussman.

The 2020 Christmas tree, is a very playful and colorful creation, juxtaposing the dullness and misery that the current situation is imposing on the entire planet.

photo credit: @galerieslafayette

What is the history of the Galeries Lafayette Christmas Tree? The Galeries Lafayette Christmas Tree is a tradition dating back to the late 1970s, and since then, many prominent designers have put their signature in the magnificent creation, as well as many big brands. What commenced as a private party just for the employees of the grand department store, turned into one of the city's must see landmarks during Christmas time.

More precisely, according to history, the Christmas celebrations in the department store started in 1920 when annual Christmas party was organized for the staff. The party was at the time only for the employees and their children, who would enjoy an on-stage show and admire the Christmas tree. At the time, the celebrations, as well as the tree would be placed just in front of the stately staircase, that used to be under the beautiful dome. The whole department store would be decorated for the holiday season, looking dazzling inside out. Later the grand staircase was removed and the tradition of hanging the Christmas tree from the dome begun. Every year, one can discover an ever so exuberant sparkling tree hanging from the glittering Art Nouveau dome.

Here is a flash back in some of the most memorable moments of the Galeries Lafayette Tree:


In 1976 the tradition of hanging a Christmas tree from the dome of the department store is born. Instead of displaying a Christmas tree in the facade, that year they decided to place it in the center of the store, hanging from the ceiling.

The first Christmas tree to ever be hung was a giant aluminum tree. It was a 23-meters high, and weighted 1,6 tons. Made out of 160 silvers baubles. The Christmas tree required 2 full months of work from the “avions René Cousinet” company.

photo credit:


The theme of the 1997 Christmas tree was “British Christmas”. The vision behind this creation belongs to Vivienne Westwood. The British designer designed the gorgeous pink bow that is wrapped around this twenty meter Christmas tree, as well as the golden decorations.

photo credit:


In 2000 the Christmas Tree was classic but still very intricate and embellished with lights in snowflake shapes, creating a magical and romantic aesthetic.

photo credit:


In 2009 the Christmas tree was decorated with pink and lavish golden ornaments, surrounded by gorgeous pink and golden floating gifts.

photo credit:


The theme of the 2012 Christmas tree was “Ball of the Century” since the year of 2012 marked the 100th anniversary of the Art Nouveau glass dome.

In honor of the instance, Hilton McConnico created a grand Swarovski Christmas tree created. The tree was 21-meters high, and it took 120 brilliant-cut Swarovski ornaments to decorate it, while the bottom was comprised from a 9-meters chandelier made of more than 5.000 smaller crystals.

The glorious star on top was made of 100 stones and was 5-meters wide.

It was the biggest tree in Europe in 2012.

photo credit:


The theme of the 2013 Christmas tree, designed in collaboration with the Swiss clock company Swatch, was “Once upon a Christmas … Before the Clock Strikes Twelve.”

The whole department store was transformed into the scene of a kid's fairytale, featuring dolls, dollhouses and beautiful flowers.


In 2014 monsters took over the department store and turned the tree upside down!

The theme of Jerry Hall's idea for that year was “A Monstrous Christmas”.

A bewildering but enchanting sight! The emblematic Art Nouveau dome of the department store inspired all the decorations that embellished this unorthodox creation.

photo credit:


In 2016 the Christmas tree took a more minimalistic approach. Lorenzo Papace, the french director and music composer, conceived a very magical concept. He staged a tree that resembles a snowy mountain, surrounded by telepheriques and a wheel of circus.

photo credit: @galerieslafayette instagram


The theme of 2017 Christmas tree was “Spectacular Spectacular” and was inspired by the popular artist Beth Ditto. The entire store was transformed into an enormous circus with a giant colorful Christmas tree surrounded by a host of inflatable, glittery candies, balloons and donuts dancing up and down the tree. The tree itself was created entirely of inflatables.

photo credit: @galerieslafayette instagram


The “Dream Factory” with Jessica Chastain. Kids between 5 and 11 years old were invited to draw their Christmas heroes. The favorite drawings were transformed into stuffed toys that were set in the iconic window displays. A 16 meters high and 9-meters long footbridge, the “Glasswalk“, was built on the 3rd floor for visitors to enjoy a unique view of the Christmas tree and the famous Art Deco glass dome.

photo credit: @galeries