I’ll Be Home for Christmas

Ten minutes before I left for France in October, my mom insisted I buy a ticket home for Christmas- and I am ever so happy that I heeded her demand suggestion.

And as if I didn’t need any more incentive to come home to my wonderful family, Michigan really out-did itself this year with the snow.

P1060990

Whenever anyone in France asked me what I was looking forward to most about going home for the holidays, I replied unabashedly, “I’m excited to see my puppy.”

Please, dear readers, meet my beloved Zoe. Isn’t she darling?

P1060997

Full disclosure – it took me about 10 shots to get this one of her posing nicely in front of the garland. And you’re lucky I didn’t make a GIF of her playing tug-of-war with her favorite monkey toy.

P1060999

Coming home to Michigan means so many things: soy chai latte trips with my baby sister, going out for Lebanese with my brother and failing at painting in my mom’s art studio (she’s an amazing artist but I inherited none of her talent!)

But coming home for Christmas is extra special; try as you might, you just really can’t replicate this atmosphere in a hostel.

P1070016

So for Christmas Eve dinner, we invited over my grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousin, Katie.

Katie brought along her good friend, Rebecca. Being from China, it was Rebecca’s first American Christmas so we tried to make it extra special for her.

P1070020

(Rebecca was an absolute doll, but I had a slight face-palm moment when I innocently asked her, “So, how many siblings do you have?” D’oh.)

Seeing everyone together laughing, telling stories and drinking pinot just warmed my heart. I really do adore my family.

P1070022

Meet Lou, my wonderful, fellow Francophile step-grandfather who recently turned 85, and my future 13 year-old future DIY and beauty blogger little sis, who we all call Bee. She steals my clothes.

P1070024

Anyone who knows me (or reads the comments on my blog) knows how close I am with my grandmother, June, who is an Alabama-born professional jazz pianist and all-around rock star. She is currently writing a book as well as juggling play-writing, acting and her music career- she’s such an inspiration!

P1070025

You may remember my dad from posts such as this one, but let me just give him a little shout-out too. My dad, who we affectionately call, “Mr. Fun”, is kind of the coolest dad of all time. And he, like the rest of my family, has also been more than supportive about my adventures and encourages me to keep learning and exploring. P1070026

And then things got a whole lot sweeter – my Aunt Suzanne shipped us a delicious coconut layer cake all the way from Georgia! I love having southern relatives.

P1070029

P1070031

On Christmas Day we had some snow to enjoy!

P1070036

Zoe joined in on the fun as well. She strangely is kind of obsessed with snow, despite her 8-pound size and tendency to be shorter than the snow drifts.

P1070038

P1070039

If I’m most thankful for one thing in 2012 it’s being able to spend the holidays with my family. May you and your families all enjoy health, happiness and adventure in 2013.

Love,

Ash

Follow me!

Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley is an American travel blogger and freelance writer who moved to Paris at 21, traveled the world for a year and now lives in Denver. She's usually in pursuit of skiing, languages and perfectly ripe cheese. Her writing has been featured in National Geographic, Viator and Jetstar Australia.
Follow me!

Latest posts by Ashley Fleckenstein (see all)

16 Comments

    • Aw, thanks! I’m rather fond of them. And I’m sure you will experience a real one with snow, they’re the best!

    • It really is magical… despite Santa no longer being real, haha.

  1. What a great time! What beats family during the holidays? I really like your little dog!

    The siblings/facepalm moment? Is that silly because of the restriction? I honestly don’t know.

    Reply
    • Oh it’s because she’s from China so there’s the one-child policy. And when I asked her if she had siblings she said, “No, I don’t, no one in China does!”

  2. I almost didn’t go home for Christmas and was SO glad I changed my mind, it’d be too hard missing those holiday moments. Your family looks so filled with joy, and I’m sure you were a big contributor of that!
    Alex @ ifs ands & butts recently posted..remember this kid?My Profile

    Reply
    • Aw, thanks, I’d like to think so! I can’t imagine being away from them for Christmas, it would be so sad. I’m glad you had a great time at home too!

  3. I was lucky to go home for the holidays too… it was such a blessing, and it always feels just that extra bit cozier when you haven’t been home in a while… the smell of the Christmas tree, the snow on the ground, the fire on and a hot beverage… doesn’t get any better.
    And I gotta say, I’m not usually a fan of small dogs, but this one is a beauty!
    Colleen Brynn recently posted..How Going To School Has Been Like Traveling (And Why You Should Try It)My Profile

    Reply
    • That’s great you got to go home as well! And yes, when we first got Zoe I was very apprehensive about getting a small dog but I’ve really fallen in love with her :)

  4. Wouldn’t be Christmas without You! So glad you are coming home.Your photos are wonderful, and all the complimentary things you wrote were so heart-warming. Love, Gamma

    Reply
    • Aw, that’s so sweet. I just love coming home to such a wonderful family! Love, Ashley

    • Haha, thanks! She’s actually a Pomeranian which is why she’s so tiny.

  5. Zoe is sooo cute!

    Reply
    • I’m so glad someone agrees! I miss her so much!

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge