Christmas in Meribel is a magical time. The resplendent giant Christmas tree is the centrepiece of Meribel, and the focal point for Meribel’s celebrations. Father Christmas (albeit a modern, French version) is drawn on a sleigh in a procession up from La Chaudanne to the great Christmas tree. There are elves dressed in red, on stilts, there’s bubbles and baubles, and live music, and drums, in what is a lively pre-cursor to the more traditional Christmas celebrations that follow: carols round the tree.
But this being Meribel, that most English of French ski resorts, the carols are predominantly all our favourite English ones, plus a sprinkling of French ones thrown in – and sometimes one carol is sung in French and English – simultaneously. The words may be different but the tune is the same. We are ably led by a choir of local Brits and French who sing with gusto.
Free vin chaud and hot chocolate is passed around as we sing, to warm our hands and boost our voices.
Then it’s back home to your chalet for your delicious 4-course meal, or if you’re feeling brave you can head to the ice rink for the Catholic Midnight Mass (not at Midnight). This is mostly in French, and no it doesn’t involve the priest ice-skating whilst blessing everyone – they cover the ice over for the service. It is attended by over 1000 people, but if you do go, wrap up warm.
Christmas Day dawns with the usual excitement for the children, and a celebratory breakfast at the chalet. If you’re that way inclined, you can dress up for your day skiing – you won’t be alone. Last year I spotted Scooby Doo, Where’s Wally, Father Christmas (quite a few), Superman and a lot of very colourful 80s shiny all in one ski suits (mind you, I’m not sure if they were fancy dress.)
In the evening, if you can ease yourself out of the hot-tub, we’ll be holding a Christmas Day service at the English Speaking Church in the local chapel – led by Julio Abraham – a colourful Zimbabwean preacher. Come to think of it, it may have been him in the 80s one-piece!
Then you can head back to the chalet for you traditional Christmas dinner complete with crackers, Christmas pud, and celebratory Champagne. Or you can choose a more traditional local meal such as fondu or hot stones. Or you can enjoy our usual fine dining menu. The choice is yours.
Why am I telling you all this in summer – because we still have one chalet with availability, and I wouldn’t want you to miss out.
And what of our chalets – well all of our chalets have hot-tubs. All our chalets have en-suite bedrooms. All of our chalets have very easy access to the slopes – one is ski-in/ski-out, two are a short walk (3 minutes max) to the slopes, and one is a very short drive (2 minutes) to the slopes in our chauffeur-driven minibus.
We really do make your skiing holiday as easy as possible.