It’s the most Frenchly time of the year!
Can you believe the holidays are already here? I haven’t even started my shopping yet. Sigh. If you’re in the same boat, I’m here to help you out. I rounded up some unique gifts for the precious Francophiles in your life. Or if you’re the Francophile (as I suspect), this is an easy list to forward Santa to have your stocking filled with delightful items you can enjoy all year round. Let’s get started!
- French Classes. There are many places you can enroll your loved one in a French class. Try a local college, private tutor, your city’s Alliance Française, or online. I’ve previously mentioned one resource that I discovered through The Earful Tower podcast called French Today. It’s a unique way of learning French through audiobooks. (You can also read my post about The Earful Tower podcast here.)
- Coffee Table Books. Give the gift of Paris each day with one of these inspiring coffee table books.
- Paris in Color by Nichole Robertson.
- Gail Albert Halaban: Paris Views by Gail Albert Halaban.
- Paris: An Inspiring Tour of the City’s Creative Heart (paperback) by Janelle McCulloch.
- For your Fashionistas.
- One of my favorite places to shop in France is Repetto. The world-renowned ballet shoe company also sells small leather goods. I included a video I took of their holiday window a few Christmases ago at the end of this post.
- I also recommend Sézane for their delicate, high-quality, and on-trend pieces that will give you a classic French look.
- Cashmere from Eric Bompard will make a splash, as well.
- Avène and Embryolisse products. These beloved French pharmacy beauty staples are a must-try. If you’re new to these brands, the Avène TriXera Nutri-Fluid cleanser (recommended for dry or sensitive skin) and Embryolisse’s best-selling Lait-Crème Concentré are great products to start with.
- Handbags. Yes, if you’re in the market for a luxury gift, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Saint Laurent, and Balenciaga are great ways to go. However, there are other French brands, like Lancel and Longchamp, that are popular and make stylish, well-designed bags.
- Subscriptions. French subscription boxes like OuiPlease and the subscription mailings from Carol Gillot of Paris Breakfasts will charm your Francophile for months. I personally subscribe to Paris Breakfast (the title is singular on Etsy) on Etsy and love getting my package in the mail.
- Paris-Themed Graphic Knits. Did you know J. Crew usually has a French-themed graphic tee or sweatshirt? I own a few and they add a fun touch to jeans for a casual day or under a blazer.
- Candles. The Diptyque Baies candle is a classic crowd-pleaser.
- Bon Appétit!
- When you go to France, savoring the bread is a must. Why not bring a little home? Poilâne is one of the most celebrated boulangeries in Paris. This bakery had been family run since 1932. They have an online shop where you can purchase bread and other treats to be shipped internationally. A wonderful accompaniment: Apollonia Poilâne’s book: Poilâne: The Secrets of the World-Famous Bread Bakery. Poilâne’s 3rd generation owner published a book this year about the history of bread with recipes.
- Got a sweet tooth? Ladurée has some of the best macarons in Paris. You can gift this delectable and colorful gift here or read my blog post about Ladurée here.
- For your TV-Viewers. TV5Monde is a French language entertainment network that airs throughout France. They also have programming subtitled in English for those of us who are learning French still. If you live in the United States, it’s available as a premium channel. Click here to see if your provider carries TV5Monde as a special surprise for your Francophile.
- Magazine Subscriptions. I’m surveying the French magazines on my bookshelf and see the French editions of Elle, Glamour, and Vogue and that’s just scratching the surface. France Magazine is also great read!
- Jewelry. If the Eiffel Tower has a special place in your heart, why not keep it close with this beautiful Tiffany necklace? If you’re looking to spend more, splurging on a Cartier piece will make this holiday’s gift exchange very memorable!
- A French-Themed Gift Basket. For my birthday, my friends gifted me with a beautiful French-themed gift basket filled with lavender spa essentials from France. If you don’t have the time to put together a basket yourself, check out the Williams-Sonoma Tour de France Gift Crate.
- Champagne. And I’m not talking just any sparkling wine. Real champagne from the Champagne region. Popular brands include Dom Pérignon, Krug, Veuve Clicquot, Bollinger, Cristal, and Perrier-Jouët. If you’d prefer a bottle of sparkling from another area, there are some fun alternatives! Many other regions in France produce excellent sparkling wines with a lower price tag. Try out a crémant (Trader Joe’s has a great Crémant de Bourgogne called La Burgondie at my local store for $9.99!) or a chardonnay-based blanc de blancs.
- A Tablecloth from Provence. One of my favorite purchases ever! I bought mine in France. However, you can buy one online here.
- Mariage Frères Tea. Founded in 1854, this well-known tea company makes gourmet tea that will invigorate one’s palate and soothe on a cold evening.
- A PSG Jersey. If your gift recipient likes “le football”, try a PSG jersey. Paris Saint-Germain is the soccer/football team of Paris and has fans all over the world.
- An Antique Skeleton Key. One of the best things about living in Paris in my opinion is having a skeleton key to your apartment. It is such a novelty that we don’t have here stateside that tickles me every time I unlock a door in France. You can score your own antique key at the antique markets in Paris or online. They look great on a bookshelf or desk to remind you of your travels.
- Movies. You can’t go wrong with a movie. Cuddle up by the fire and enjoy a classic like Funny Face, French films like Amélie or The Intouchables, or the Woody Allen hit, Midnight in Paris.
- And finally, the grand finale! You haven’t visited France until you’ve zipped around on a scooter. You can prepare for your trip or get a taste of it at home with a Local Scooter Class.
I hope that these gift ideas were helpful! Please let me know if you end up purchasing any of these items and what you think in the comments…I’d love to know how they worked out for you! Happy Holidays!
Photos/Video By: Living Frenchly