Hello Santa, goodbye old friend. 

My son and I just completed our Christmas tradition. Every Christmas Eve, we light a paper lantern and send it up, so that Santa knows where we live, and remembers to stop by. 

It reminded me of another tradition. It’s a Hotel family tradition, and one that I’ve asked to be included in. Mike can fill you in with more details than I can, but I know the important bits. When a Hotel family member passes on, after the official funeral, a few members of the family step aside into the woods, carrying a pair of firearms. First, one is raised in the air (at a 45 degree angle – one funeral at a time, thank you), and touched off. That’s ‘one to lead you home’. Then the second one is raised and fired – that’s ‘one to let you know that we’re not far behind’. 

Mike and I’ve been friends for a long time. 

I’m pretty sure Mike and I will leave this world at the same time, probably taking care of our cremation at the same time. If I do shuffle off from this mortal coil before he does, he has instructions on which guns to use (the one his dad traded me the house trailer for, and the one the FBI was chasing me through the Denver Airport to get back) and where to do it (Ten Bear’s cabin). 

Sorry if this was a dark turn for Christmas Eve! But my point is this – be a part of a tradition. Be a part of someone’s memories. Be a part of something big. Be cool. Send someone off. Let Santa know you’re home. 

Have a merry Christmas. Thanks for reading our thoughts, plans, memories, and brilliant ideas. You guys and ladies are great. I hope Santa finds your homes, and I hope you find traditions to make life more real. 


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