I've come to realize that I am a sucker for this season. I buy into it and embrace it with open arms, no matter the amount of sadness it has the potential to bring me at times.
And 7 years after it stopped, I still wake up on Christmas morning and walk to the main room of the house and look at emptiness. The same room that was there the day before, nothing changed. I never hope for some magical gift left by some imaginary person who does those sort of things, but I think, for a very tiny moment in time during the walk there, I actually do.
I remember when he was alive, me and Charley would have our Christmas together. I'd wish him Merry Christmas and he'd look at me the same way he'd done a thousand times before as a dog, but I'd translate it different that morning.
Charley's gone now though, so is Dad, so is Mom...so is Santa, but it never stops me from falling in love with this season, year after year.