I lived in France for a year, so I’ve got an idea. Specifically, I lived in Alsace, which is a hair cooler than a lot of the rest of the country. I understand it’s not unusual to see snow there, but I didn’t see very much at all when I lived there. I lived in Strasbourg, which is beautiful, and Christmas is a big deal there. There’s a big Christmas fair in the middle of town, where they sell mulled wine. It’s gorgeous.
Of course, this is Alsace, so there’s a definite German influence on everything, including the food. Especially the food. There’s something called tarte flambée which is simple in its elegance. Or elegance in its simplicity. Or something. Alsatian beer rules, too. And Germany is right next door, where you can nip over on the city buses, which cost 7 francs when I lived there, which was something like $1.25.
During the winter, it could get bitter, and there were quite a few days when the temperature hovered around freezing, but I don’t remember it going much below that. If you ski, the Vosges Mountains are just off to the west, and even when Strasbourg doesn’t have snow, they will.
Alsace has a number of wineries, all located along the region’s celebrated Route du Vin, which you’d need a car to see. I found Riqwihr to be a charming little town. Alsace is about the size of Connecticut. I’m not sure if the wineries there would be open during the winter, though.
Strasbourg is a very walkable city, and there’s a lot to see. There’s a mountain reserve of Moroccan monkeys called magots, as well, which I think is open year 'round. It’s a six-hour train ride from the Gare de l’Est, but it has an airport, too. Oh, and its cathedral has really neat things happen with light shining through its stained-glass windows on all equinoxes and solstices that aren’t overcast.