We kept most traditions the same. We went to NY and had a pre-Christmas with my parents and siblings, then it was off to Albany for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. On Christmas Eve we had star helium balloons and we wrote notes to Mason and Poppa - (Kirk's Dad who passed a couple of years ago) and let the balloons go. Mateo wrote on his note: "I hope you are okay." We also prepared our reindeer food like we always do, and put candles in the ground to light the way. We held hands and said a few words about Mason and those we loved and missed.
Kirk's sister and her family changed their usual plans and spent Christmas morning with us so Mateo would have kids around. That really helped to not seem so empty and strange as both Mason and Francisca (who was on vacation in Bolivia) were not there. Then we went to Kirk's brother's house for dinner. We had a little candlelight ceremony. Each of us had a card to read: family, community, memories, love, laughter etc. The kids and family added to what Kirk and I wrote. The candles looked beautiful and had stars on them.
I also went and saw Mason's grave. The temporary headstone is up and my friend Mary and I placed notes that Kirk, Mateo and I wrote for him. A friend had suggested a blanket of pine to put on the grave and we did that. It was a beautiful day- crisp, cold wintry.
And so life continues.....