Ariana Grande fans are feeling extra merry and bright this Christmas after seeing their queen share an intimate moment from Christmas Day. Ari has openly discussed her complicated relationship with her estranged father, so folks were surprised and delighted to see she connected with him for the holidays. The photo of Ariana Grande FaceTiming Edward Butera on Christmas popped up in the "Imagine" singers Instagram stories and left some lingering feel-good vibes for all of her followers to carry into the New Year.
Grande has a clearly strong relationship with her mother, Joan Grande, and her brother, Frankie. However, her father has been noticeably absent from her adult life. According to AOL.com, Joan and Edward split about 17 years ago when Ariana was eight years old and has remained largely out of the scene. Mostly, Grande doesn't talk about it. But in 2014, she did tell Seventeen magazine that her and Butera's falling out was the "toughest thing she has ever had to deal with."
Grande explained at the time, "It's private, but it happened last year. It took me so long to be okay with it. The thing that got me there was embracing the fact that that I am made up of half my dad, and a lot of my traits come from him." She added, "So much of me comes from my father, and for so long, I didn't like that about myself. I had to accept that it's okay not to get along with somebody and still love them."
A lot of time passed before Grande referenced her dad again in the form of a 2017 Father's Day post on Instagram. She shared a sweet throwback photo of her dad holding her as a baby with the caption, "Happy Father's Day. I love you."
Additionally, fans noticed Grande referenced her dad directly in her hit song, "Thank U, Next," which is revered as both a breakup anthem and coming-of-age tale. The lyrics predominantly focus on the life lessons Ari learned from each of her past relationships, but she does give her dad a shoutout towards the end. She sings the lyrics, "One day I'll walk down the aisle / Holding hands with my mama / I'll be thanking my dad / 'Cause she grew from the drama."
Now, she's making a point to let everyone know her and her father are reconnecting — at least on some level. On Christmas Day, Ari posted a video walking a sweet little pooch followed by a black and white still clearly showing her FaceTiming with Butera. It looks like she took the picture of her phone with another phone, because you can see her festive decorated room, too. There's no caption, but Butera's face says it all.
In general, 2018 has been one of Ariana's most intense years yet. She launched her hit album Sweetener, called off her engagement to Pete Davidson, and experienced the loss of her late ex-boyfriend Mac Miller. For these reasons, fans are thrilled to see she is spending the holidays nurturing herself and her relationships with her loved ones.
Merry (late) Christmas, Ariana!