Holiday cost of living

As in the UK, you are likely to find that during the holiday season in France, prices go up slightly – although they are still likely to be lower than their UK counterparts.

Holiday costs

The very first thing you will notice when comparing Christmas in France to in the UK is that there is not nearly as much ‘hype’ here – in fact, the festival is much more traditional and less commercial, although you will usually be able to find the same Christmas goodies that you will be used to.
 

In terms of prices, the main thing you will notice is that Christmas trees are much less expensive here – although this may well be because so many of them grow in France! For example, you can easily buy a lovely, large real Nordic pine tree for as little as €20 in all the garden centres and many supermarkets stock them. There are also local providers selling their own trees by the roadside – bargains can most definitely be had!

Food is always important to the average Frenchman – perhaps even more so at Christmas. The traditional shopping list here is oysters, foie gras, turkey, goose and duck, and we would definitely recommend that you purchase these at the many markets, which are infinitely cheaper than in the UK. You can be reasonably sure that many food items are grown locally, thus offering not only better value, but better quality.

Christmas cards are not as popular in France as they are in the UK. The main place to purchase these (and other Christmas decorations) is the Christmas fairs, where artisans produce items for much less than you would find in the UK.

You will usually find cheap Christmas decorations and lights in the larger stores and hardware stores – and as in the UK, you are often likely to find two-for-one special offers.

The France Buying Guide’s top for a fruitful Christmas shopping spree in France would be to make full use of the lovely markets in France. Not only will you find good everyday produce, but during the holiday season you will usually be able to find souvenirs, local wares and specialities from the region you are in at cheaper prices than the shops. Going to the market is a very popular pastime in France and is to be recommended as you tend to find more individual items made by local craftsmen. You are likely to find plenty of gift ideas in both markets and local shops. Also, many villages have travelling vans selling Christmas items. 

Further reading for Living In France

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Finding work in France

There are a number of ways that UK expats can fund their lifestyle in France.
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Education in France

Are you emigrating to France with school-age children?

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Social life in France

The best way to get settled in France is to find out as much as you can about your new community.
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Healthcare

The French healthcare system is one of the best in the world...

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