christmas with the family

by Sharon Santoni

The house and garden covered with snow- looking forward to christmas with the family- MY FRENCH COUNTRY HOME


We are very lucky here to still be able to spend Christmas with the family.    We are at that stage where everyone has flown the nest, but none of the children are as yet married with kids, and so for the moment, they still grace us with their presence for a few days over the holidays.  And that makes me very h.a.p.p.y!

We have a few family traditions for the lead up to Christmas Day.    An evening in Paris enjoying a theatre show and a good dinner;   open house for friends the weekend before Christmas;  stockings beneath the tree before breakfast; champagne and gifts before lunch and of course a great many walks with those dogs.

Down the road through the snow covered meadows- looking forward to christmas with the family- MY FRENCH COUNTRY HOME

This year has felt particularly busy, and 2019 promises to continue in the same vein, so I am taking time to enjoy the family over the holidays, and things will be a little quiet here.  It’s just a question of priorities.

We’ll bring you a giveaway next week, and we’ll keep up the posts on instagram and facebook.   Aaand ….  at the beginning of January I’ll be announcing something very very exciting, but until then I mostly just want to thank all of you for reading me this year.

Thank you!

The blogging world is changing very fast and after nearly nine years of blogging I am beyond grateful to have such generous readers.     Thank you for your comments, for your words of encouragement, and for simply stopping by to check out what I have to say.

Wishing you and your loved ones a very happy Holiday season, I look forward to catching up with you next year!

Green foliage in the garden blanketed with snow- looking forward to christmas with the family- MY FRENCH COUNTRY HOME


Penny at Enjoying The Simple Things December 22, 2018 - 8:45 pm

So pretty when it is snowing! I don’t comment often but I really enjoy your blog and your book. Have a wonderful Christmas and I look forward to hearing what is happening next year.

Rosemary Foreman December 22, 2018 - 8:51 pm

Merry Christmas! Joyeux Noël.
It sounds & looks lovely!

Dottie Monta December 22, 2018 - 10:23 pm

We ARE lucky, aren’t we, that the children want to be with us!
Your home is beautiful year round, but especially pretty covered with snow.
Love the ivy shot; coincidentally, I’m using six pots with my holiday flowers this year! It nestles in so nicely.
Christmas love to you and your family in France, Sharon, from grey but festive Pennsylvania!

Colleen Taylor December 22, 2018 - 10:41 pm

Enjoy your time with your loved ones Sharon. Joyeux Noël and Bonne Année Sharon. X

Bronwyn Lee-Coward December 22, 2018 - 10:46 pm

A very Happy Christmas to you Sharon and your family. The snow ❄️ covered trees and house make me feel very envious and even more committed to spend Christmas in France 2019. I look forward to your blog next year.

Nancy December 22, 2018 - 10:47 pm

Merry Christmas to all.

Bonnie Wood December 22, 2018 - 10:51 pm

Joyeux Noel Sharon!!!! We are getting ready for our celebration here in Rhode Island . Christmas Eve will be a quiet dinner with my Hubby,our son Darrell, and my brother Gary. Christmas Day is spent at my sister’s home with her family. Good food and a great time. Hope Santa is good to you and yours !!! Merry Christmas from America!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bonnie

Deborah December 22, 2018 - 10:54 pm

Wishing you blessings at Christmas and New year and special memories shared with loved ones. During this special time of year let us celebrate the reason for the season! God bless and peace be with you.

Denise December 22, 2018 - 10:59 pm

Joyeux Noel, love your post, I am so happy I found you many years ago.i was born in a Paris but now live in the states. So when I read your post I fell like I am visiting with a friend from home.
You are the best.

Dagmar December 22, 2018 - 11:05 pm

Merry Christmas to you allí.
Enjoy these precious days with your family, your Friends…and of course, your beloved dogs.

janie calvert December 22, 2018 - 11:07 pm

Merry Christmas to you, Sharon. Your snowy pictures look lovely. I hope your quiet time is special with your family.
Happy 2019!

Lisa D. December 22, 2018 - 11:09 pm

A very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2019 to you and your family, Sharon. I so enjoy your beautiful blog. It’s so beautiful and an oasis of peace in this chaotic world.

Rebecca Burgess December 22, 2018 - 11:13 pm

So beautiful Sharon, looks so magical. I so enjoy your blog and look forward to the new year with you. Have fun with your family.

david terry December 22, 2018 - 11:14 pm

Dear Sharon,
Thanks for your lovely, quiet posting….which I just read as the sun’s going down on this farm at the early hour of 4:45 p.m. I’m glad to read that your whole family can be together this Christmas; I found myself reminding a friend of mine (her children are all “gone”, but still without spouses and/or children of their own) “Ummm….just remind yourself that everything CHANGES once they start getting married and having babies. Next thing you know, they’re duly visiting in-laws for Christmas……and one is spending the holiday in Seattle, while another’s in Boston with her new in-laws, etcetera. ENJOY them while things are still relatively simple, and you can….”.

I loved it, a few years ago, when three friends of mine (2 divorced women, and one a widow) in their sixties simply told their adult children to do what needed to be done to mollify in-laws…….and my friends (and they’re LONGTIME friends; I’ve known them for only about fifteen years), rather than park glumly in an “empty nest”, simply booked themselves a lovely, 3 bedroom, cabin at a ski resort in Virginia. Only about a two hour drive. None of them are rich, by the way….just smart and self-sufficient and in no mood to slow down just because everyone else has other plans. I recall getting an excited telephone call from them on Christmas day; they were giggling like schoolgirls (Dotty had made “eggnog”, which seemed to be very little beyond an excuse for drinking bourbon in the middle of the day) and explaining “Oh, it’s so much FUN!…..not being in ANYONE’S house”? And just having fun?”. I remember one of them saying “Oh….I even let myself have a cigarette, without someone bitching at me about it!”. It was, indeed, a “girls’ Christmas”, and I later told them all that I thought it had taken off at least fifteen years of life’s troubles from them. They were all very happy when they returned.

As for here? (and, yes, the sun is really setting as I type this)?……there’s been an exceptional flurry today as all the rich ladies, in their various, humongous SUV’S and god-knows-what-expensive cars drive in and out to take their horses (60 or so are stabled in the huge barn thirty feet from my front porch) for a last (I assume) ride before Christmas. I do wish I could post some photographs; it is, indeed, beautiful (if markedly remote) out here, and the horsing facilities are amazing.

As for me? I’ll be spending Christmas here. My own family in Tennessee (including my younger brother and his wife) are all scattering like geese to the winds……to visit other relatives. I politely declined the invitation/s to drive five hours, just so that I could get in a car and drive another four hours for a two-day visit somewhere else. Once I manage to get someplace, I always intend to STAY there. Call me a curmudgeon, if you like.

I’ll be spending Christmas Day with my friends, Laure Levesque and her husband. They own a big house which is only about twelve miles from here (closer to town). Have I told you about her? She’s an always stunningly-put-together (no wonder; she was the head of international marketing for L’Oreal for ten years), very lovely, very personable, and altogether interesting AND interested woman. Since moving to America and marrying Eric, she’s quit corporate work and now owns/runs her own French-wines import company (go to: You really should know her (She’s on Facebook, of course)….perhaps talk to her for one of your “My French Girlfriends” postings. Like you, she’s a woman who’s simply MADE what she does and, these days, is. I find that admirable. She is, of course, French.

Well, enough of this. thank you again for your posting, and here’s wishing you and your s the merriest of christmases,
David Terry
Quail Roost Farm
Rougemont, NC

Susan December 22, 2018 - 11:18 pm

As always lovely pictures and lovely thoughts. All the best to you and your loved ones.

Rachel December 22, 2018 - 11:20 pm

Happy Christmas to you. I love your blog and just bought your book which I am also enjoying g. One of these days I hope to splurge on your subscription box. Love to you all. Rachel

Krishun Stanton December 22, 2018 - 11:27 pm

I really enjoy your posts! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas from Boulder City, Nevada

darby callahan December 22, 2018 - 11:35 pm

your blog provides a dose of grace, beauty and sanity in this often crazy world. Merry Christmas!

june December 22, 2018 - 11:40 pm


Merry Christmas to you and your family. I love your blog. Todays pictures are gorgeous.
I would be interested in purchasing a print if available.

Thank you for the beautiful work you do.


Marianne C Whitman December 22, 2018 - 11:41 pm

Merry Christmas Sharon to you and your family. May it be filled with love and happiness. Marianne

Sue Malizia December 22, 2018 - 11:47 pm

Sending the merriest of Christmas wishes to you and yours and here’s to a happy and healthy year ahead! ~ Looking forward to more posts and short stories. Cheers!

Nan December 22, 2018 - 11:50 pm

Ditto what Darby said. Merry Christmas from deep within the heart of Texas

Rita Key December 22, 2018 - 11:53 pm

Happy Holidays Sharon to you & your loved ones!

Jill December 22, 2018 - 11:55 pm

A very Merry Christmas to you and all your family. From the California desert the snow of France looks cool and refreshing. Thank you for sharing your magical world with all of us.

Beverley December 22, 2018 - 11:57 pm

A very Merry Christmas.. Joyeux Noël… to you and your loved ones Sharon. I envy your walks in the “cold”, as temps have been in the high 30’s here in Brisbane, Queensland.
I so look forward to reading you again in 2019.
Warmest wishes…..Beverley.

Lee Oleary December 23, 2018 - 12:02 am

Merry Christmas Sharon .thankyou for your lovely posts they give me inspiration to make our home more beautiful .Lee from Mollymook in Australia .ps we are in summer now everything is lovely and green .

Elizabeth December 23, 2018 - 12:19 am

Merry Christmas to you and your family. Your house looks so beautiful with the fallen snow…

Cindy Musselman December 23, 2018 - 12:59 am

A very Merry Christmas to you and your family!

MISSLINDY December 23, 2018 - 1:14 am

PHOTOGRAPHS – Wonderfully beautiful. Thank you for sharing. Here in Austin, TX – NO SNOW

Myrna December 23, 2018 - 1:33 am

Dearest Sharon,

Thank you for your many gifts this year, I love each and every post you send…

I’m so thrilled we had the opportunity to meet in Sonoma. I cherish My French Country Home.

Wishing you and yours the loveliest Christmas and the best in the New Year.

Sending love from Napa.


Kelly December 23, 2018 - 1:38 am

Love your blog, Merry Christmas from Newfoundland, Canada!
I am fortunate that i’ll be visiting France in June 2019!!!

Victoria Savu December 23, 2018 - 1:55 am

Been reading your blog for over 5 years. I have enjoyed every post. Thank you so very much. Hsve a Merry Christmas and great 2019. XX

Laura December 23, 2018 - 2:05 am

Wishing you a wonderful Christmas, Sharon.
Looking forward to your posts in 2019.
Best to you and your family in the New Year!

Denise Duvall December 23, 2018 - 3:11 am

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Love your pictures of your house in the snow. Beautiful!

Susan Gabriel December 23, 2018 - 3:57 am

Dear Sharon~ peace and Love to you and yours AND thank you for providing the place where I go when seeking a haven of beauty and the real. Sometimes I “save” your posts for when I can make a pot of tea and sequester in the garden or bedroom for a quiet respite. The time flows gentle
By when reading your words and seeing the lovely photographs, and I emerge refreshed.

Am looking forward to your news in January, meanwhile, savor your special moments.
Grateful in the New England Woods,
Susan Gabriel

Brigitte December 23, 2018 - 4:45 am

Enjoy your time with the family Sharon. Merry Christmas.

Ann pauley December 23, 2018 - 5:14 am

You are so right about prioritizing.
It’s nice to see the south of France with
Snow covered properties ! You are blessed!
We have high 40 temps, and it seems
the snow has escaped us here in Lower
Michigan. A Blessed Christmas to you!

Maryanne December 23, 2018 - 5:27 am

I loved David Terry’s comment. Christmas is different for everyone and we should all know that and never feel too lucky or things will change. We have 3 daughters and 8 grandchildren. It’s hard to all get together in one place. Love your blog. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Valorie December 23, 2018 - 5:47 am

Merry Christmas, Sharon! Thank you for your beautiful blog, sharing your home and France with us! It is a highlight of my days. Enjoy walks with Gibson and Ghetto and give them an extra pat from me, I love those two! Kind regards, Valorie

Debbie December 23, 2018 - 6:36 am

Merry Christmas Sharon and to everyone who reads Sharon’s blog.
Images of snow flurries and carollers run through my mind as I imagine European and American Christmas’s. I love your blog Sharon and always feel inspired by your gorgeous photos of decorations, food, scenery, buildings etc. I am totally overwhelmed by all the American Christmas themed movies and loving it. I am taking notes from Jamie and Nigella about how to make the best Christmas dinner ever. Mind you I am not cooking a turkey this year. I have decided to go for seafood and loads of salads and yummy deserts instead so I can survive the Australian Christmas without suffering heat stroke in my kitchen. We don’t have air con but will put on the ceiling fans when I start baking pumpkin pies and my best version of the cherry pie my husband grew up with in the U.S.
Merry Christmas and best wishes for the new year.

Mimi Brooks December 23, 2018 - 6:54 am

wishing you a very happy, healthy, and joyous holiday season and new year! xo mimi

Lorrie December 23, 2018 - 7:07 am

Merry Christmas! Joyeux Noel to you and your family, Sharon. Thank you for the many posts and images you’ve shared with us over the years. May 2019 bring you much joy!

Our French Oasis December 23, 2018 - 7:39 am

A very Happy Christmas and Healthy 2019 to you. xx

Madonna December 23, 2018 - 8:38 am

Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas. So glad you blog, you are such an inspiration.

Jan Smith December 23, 2018 - 9:47 am

Have a wonderful Christmas with your family and thank you for your wonderful blog xx

Maureen December 23, 2018 - 12:24 pm

Merry Christmas! I love your blog and love your books! But you deserve a little time off! Enjoy your family!

Lynne Smith December 23, 2018 - 12:42 pm

Lovely photos Sharon. However, I am disappointed that none of them included the dogs. I love seeing them so much that I saved your Christmas greetings from last year that featured them.

Have a joyous holiday!

Barbara McCormick December 23, 2018 - 2:25 pm

Merry Christmas Sharon to you and your family! I just love your blog! Thank you for sending the latest with the picture of your beautiful home covered in snow! So beautiful! It took me back to my grandparents farm in Pennsylvania where I spent many Christmas’s when I was a little girl, many years ago! Enjoy the holiday with your family. You are very lucky that you are still able to all be together. Give the doggies an extra “huggie huggie” from me!!!

Donna December 23, 2018 - 2:48 pm

I don’t always comment but I always read. Thank you for taking me on your adventures. As a fellow photographer, I’ve especially enjoyed your photos. Merry Christmas and happy 2019

Vicky(from Athens) December 23, 2018 - 3:01 pm

Wishing you and yours a wonderful Christmas and a happy and healthy 2019!

Freddie Ann December 23, 2018 - 4:56 pm

Merry Christmas Everyone.

AFN December 23, 2018 - 5:06 pm

Love the magical snow pictures and your calming blog. Wishing you and your family a blessed
Christmas and exciting New Year 2019.

Nan Mautz December 23, 2018 - 5:32 pm

Sharon, you brighten every day for me! Thank you for all that you do! Wishing you and yours the Merriest of Christmases and a blessed and wonderful 2019! Nan

Cathy December 23, 2018 - 6:21 pm

I’m so happy I found your blog in 2018! Thank you for sharing your lovely thoughts, words and photos – they are my respite in a hectic week. It’s wonderful to be transported to France for a little while – even if only in my mind.
Have a wonderful Christmas and holiday season!

Teresa Schreck December 23, 2018 - 6:24 pm

Just beautiful, love hearing all of your family traditions. Paris for Christmas must be truly magical. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Teresa

Carol December 23, 2018 - 7:58 pm

Joyeux Noël from Wisconsin!

Mitzi Ladner December 23, 2018 - 8:23 pm

Merry Christmas Sharon to you and family. Can’t wait to read more from you in the coming year. I’m so lucky to have found your blog. What I would give to be able to see Paris! Mitzi

Jenny December 24, 2018 - 12:52 pm

I always enjoy reading your blog during my coffee time in the morning! Thanks for sharing beautiful photos in France, nice thoughts and ideas, travels and many more. Looking forward to reading your blog in the coming year and many years to come!
Wishing you and your family a blessed and happy Christmas . Cheers

StitchinSweetSue December 24, 2018 - 4:57 pm

Another wonderful year has flown by Sharon, ty for sharing with us! Wishing you and yours a sweet and joyous Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2019…

Pam December 25, 2018 - 5:48 am

Hello Sharon!!

In your blog over the years I have found what I’ve been looking for and that is to travel back in time to see a beautiful France and all it’s beauty. Your writing is always elegantly written with such beauty even if your describing the fog touching the tops of mulberry bushes.

I think it’s so great that your family are with you over the next few days. Happy Holidays to you and you beautiful family.

Take care and enjoy!!


Judy Lambert December 25, 2018 - 2:18 pm

Wishing you and your family a most wonderful Christmas Sharon. It’s a treat to read of the various adventures of how others spend their holidays! We will be sharing between our two daughters who both live very close to us – one being right on the same property to where we are creating our new life! As we share them with their in-laws, we will not be together completely but will have the opportunity to have part of this day with them. We are truly blessed.

Carmen December 26, 2018 - 9:26 am


Patricia December 26, 2018 - 4:25 pm

Happy healthy magical new year.

Susan Carter December 26, 2018 - 7:56 pm

Merry, Happy Christmas and Glorious New Year!

martineBE December 26, 2018 - 8:06 pm

Merry Xmas to you and your family.
Looking formard ro read you in 2019.
Pensées de ma campagne belge

Mary from Napa Valley December 28, 2018 - 6:04 am

Happiest of days in the coming New Year to you and yours Sharon!
You are charming and generous in sharing your thoughts, energy and life – And a true inspiration for us to not just sit and dream and read about it (as enjoyable as that may be!), but to immerse ourselves in the possibilities around us.
Would love to connect with you Myrna from my home town. And love reading your posts David Terry!
A kindred spirit.
Mary from Napa Valley

Diane Goupil December 28, 2018 - 6:53 pm

Good Joyest New Year to you and your family.
I just found your site this past year.
What a delight and honor it is to visit you each week.
Thank you for sharing your heart with us all.
Blessings in the New Year. Diane on Poinsettia
Diane on Poinsettia

Grimaud Girl December 30, 2018 - 3:06 pm

Lovely! What a beautiful way to spend this special time of year. Wishing you and your loved ones only the best in the new year!

Mary December 31, 2018 - 5:30 am

I love though we live a continent away, that your and mine favorite joys of the holiday is to have all our children with us during the holiday season and watching the. Christmas traditions they have taken as there own. No matter how close or far we are from one another, our hearts know the most important part of Christmas is sharing time and love with our children and all we hold dear. Joyeux Noel from New York! Bonne Année!

Mary December 31, 2018 - 5:31 am

I love though we live a continent away, that your and mine favorite joys of the holiday are to have all our children with us during the holiday season and watching the Christmas traditions they have taken as there own. No matter how close or far we are from one another, our hearts know the most important part of Christmas is sharing time and love with our children and all we hold dear. Joyeux Noel from New York! Bonne Année!

Jean Johnson January 1, 2019 - 5:33 pm

Enjoy your blog so much!!! I have only been to Paris in the summer, but spending Christmas there someday is a dream…

katherin January 2, 2019 - 6:20 pm

Happy New Year!! I would love to win the Parisian January box…………………….Kat

the november box is... mon beau sapin (+ a giveaway)! - MY FRENCH COUNTRY HOME October 1, 2019 - 2:58 pm

[…] The holiday season  is one of my favourite times of the year (do I say that about every season?).  The French Christmas may seem understated but it is nevertheless beautiful.  Paris in particular is always stunning,  Christmas trees and twinkly lights line the streets, from the beautifully decorated storefronts to the pop-up Christmas markets. It’s merry and chic at the same time,  a style which can easily translate to the streets of Paris or the cozy living room of my home in the countryside. […]


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