Just like most years, my family spent Christmas in Augusta this year, though we were at my Aunt Kathy's house rather than Papa's, since Papa passed away in June. It was a hard Christmas in that respect - everyone was missing Papa, especially because Christmas was his favorite time of year. But everyone did really well at not letting their grief spoil the holiday. It was a really nice chance to spend time with extended family, marvel at my cousin Holley's new baby (more on him in another post), and enjoy the magic of the season.
Ever since I can remember, my family has had its own personal Santa Claus - my Papa's friend "Tommy Claus". I honestly wouldn't recognize Tommy without his Santa suit, but he is an important part of our Christmas eve celebration every year. I remember sitting on his knee as a little girl, telling him what I wanted for Christmas and fully believing that he would be back that evening to deliver the requested gifts. I remember the year Ben picked his nose and said "Here, Santa, want a booger?" This year, even without Papa there, we enjoyed spending time with Tommy Claus and passing on the tradition to little Layton.
And of course, on Christmas morning, we woke to find out that Santa really did come overnight!We all had a very nice Christmas. And even though we didn't have any little kids to wake us up early (it was probably nearly 11:00 before we started opening presents), we certainly enjoyed the craziness of Christmas morning, complete with lots of laughs, wrapping paper all over the room, and some great gifts.
All in all, our Christmas in August was a success, and although Papa wasn't there in person, I think we all felt him there in spirit in a variety of ways.