Noël Paris Style: an annual pleasure is a stroll through the winter-wonderland displays in the windows of Le Bon Marché, 24 rue de Sèvres in the 7ᵉ arrondissement of Paris. Le Bon Marché was built in 1869 by Founder Aristide Boucicaut, 1810 – 1877.
Le Bon Marché, (Magasin) Department store and (Epicery) Grocery with international cuisine selections, provides an event simply to stroll the aisles and view the installations of the epicery, enjoy fresh shellfish at the seafood bar, or sample hot chocolate or champagne in the café or restaurant.
Stepping off the escalator from metro station Sèvres-Babylon, one is guided to the window displays of Le Bon Marché. It is entertainment to behold !
Pass by or through Ballet of Lights as the windows of Le Bon Marché come to life with an animated spectacle of song and dance. Here, one can watch and enjoy the wonder in the eyes of the children, no matter their cultural, ethnic or lingual heritage, as they eagerly mount the special stairs to the window viewing platform. One can hear their laughter and feel their delight !
For me, the winter holidays are a testament to LIFE. My own winter holiday story begins at All Saints November 1, and culminates 1 January on the first day of the Gregorian calendar new year (Pope Gregory XIII, 1582).
As I feel it, one year slowly comes to a rest after fall harvest. Then, life prepares both in celebratory fashion as well as in silent reflection to be renewed and reborn during the spring. The cycle is witnessed in every form of life on planet earth, from the microscopic forms within the earth’s surface, to the macro-cosmic levels of planetary movement and climate changes within and outside the earth’s atmosphere.
I focus on the light of life in ways I feel most comfortable. Each person has the capacity to choose her or his perspectives. As I feel it, all human beings ‘generally’ are conceived with a spark of desire, passion and in love within the darkness of the human body, or by other methods now available. Then, through delivery ‘being birthed’ into this cosmos onto planet earth, our common home, each new person (infant) – like a photo is ’exposed to light’ to breathe and to BE alive and to ‘develop’. In Spanish; to give birth is “dar luz”, literally this is to give light. Therein, all mothers give light to the world. This is the natural mechanism of procreation – for creation, re-creation, even recreation! Theoretically, all life is intended to be new light for the planet.
“Without the dark, I would not BE, and without the light, I could not see.” – A.R.
Even yet, there is a bit of ‘Grinch potential’ perhaps lurking in every moment. As Charles Dickens notes:
“There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in contrast.”
~ Charles Dickens (1812 – 1870)
Every situation, even every breath, potentially harbours a ‘Grinch moment’ ! Watch for them, and send them out to transform to light, or make a change!
Every human story holds some form of disappointment or sadness, and equally holds potential for some form of joy or surprise !
My story continues to evolve in every instant, partially due to my expanding nationalities and languages, and partially due to the natural course of humanity to expand and to grow. First, I simply am an adult student of culture and language: not having been acculturated in multiple countries, languages or ethnicities, I accumulate my intercultural, lingual experiences through my personal ‘adulterated filters’. My lessons have incrementally and increasingly led me to appreciate the grand richness of the human condition in witnessing the incredible resiliency, strength, compassion and care that individuals exemplify. Culture Honey’s own contributors offer unique and inspiring habits and perspectives from which I have learned much about myself.
I especially thank my Spanish and French teachers for life lessons. Through the Spanish language, I have learned a more holistic and less ego-oriented approach to my perceptions of humanity. Through my French teachers, from the south as well as Parisian, I have learned the exceptional extent of ‘La Comedie Française’ and the potential results for inexhaustible mirth and triumphant gaiety. All told, throughout my particuliar passion for expansion, I have become a more compassionate and less judgmental person – even when it comes to self. I have learned to enjoy simple pleasures around me, to laugh, to take myself less seriously, and enjoy human differences with a light and loving heart, as compared to the sort of natural wariness of human differences as has been guided by our ancient reptilian brain functions. I find that, in general, this makes my life easier.
Every opportunity holds some pleasures and surprises to behold!
In conclusion, human history is anything but simple; i.e., extremely complicated.
No matter the cultural, ethnic or lingual heritage, each person must own the opportunity and sort out his or her personal beliefs and values. All in all, at the core, I do not see so many differences between peoples as I offer a simplified peek at the remaining winter holidays and celebrations in western tradition, Christmas and New Year :
Kwanza, 26 December – 1 January, a fairly new American tradition (1996) to celebrate African heritage, it is about community and culture. The focus is to share the harvest, to celebrate community, and enjoy feasts and gifts.
Hanukkah, 2015, 6 December – 14 December, an ancient celebration of Jewish spirit, which includes many stories, rituals and foods, celebrated by upholding the light as a symbol of wisdom.
Christmas, the celebration fixed 24 December, evening before Christmas, 25 December, the designated ‘commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ’ … also to acknowledge the light of life affirmed by delivery of the “son of righteousness” to earth; and then 6 January, the arrival of the three kings bearing gifts, is a cross-over with the arrival of Saint Nicholas, Santa Clause, Papa Noël, bearing gifts. Consider the core and Celebrate LIFE on EARTH Fa La La La La La La La LA !
From Paris to All: enjoy the simple pleasures, feel the light, know your rights, and allow something about everything to evoke even a slight bit of laughter 😉
Originally Published: Dec 15, 2015 @ 06:05