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Europe / France

CityMetric Advent 21: Paris's department store Christmas windows are completely terrifying

In the UK, we’re quite used to the idea of outlandish Christmas windows, especially in London’s fanciest department stores. One display this year features gold plates in a toaster, thus successfully sending a message which manages to simultaneously be debauched and dangerous.

In Paris, however, department store Christmas displays blow ours (as it were) out of the window. The French capital favours enormous, animated dioramas, in which ghostly figures or toys move around a festive scene. The windows this year are particularly spooky.

Let’s start with the famously classy Galeries Lafayette, who have a “Monster Christmas” theme this year. First, there are these bauble-shaped torture wheels, around which dead eyed muppets cavort gleefully: 

wheel of torture on Make A Gif

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These muppets are desperately trying to escape some top hats:

hats lafayette on Make A Gif

Next up, a hellish Christmas party (note the giant pink monster trying to hug/crush the tree):

monster party on Make A Gif

If you’re freaked out by the anarchic upside down Christmas tree, you won’t like the store’s main tree much, either: 

Image: Galeries Lafayette.

There are more clips in this video, from around 2 minutes in (if you look closely enough, you may notice that some of the partying puppets are actually carrying knives): 

Now for Printemps, the sophisticated fashion and lifestyle store, which has included a nod to London in one of its windows this year:

Printemps on Make A Gif

The picture’s not that clear on this one, but, er, is one of those women actually being hanged?

Overall, the effect isn’t as scary as last year’s present-waving teddy bear zombies: 

printemps teddies on Make A Gif

Perhaps it’s time to go back to basics. Less violent muppets and more Hoover nativities, please. 

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