I went to get 10 green and red helium filled balloons on Christmas eve because I knew I wouldn't be able to get them Christmas day. I assumed they would be good until 3 p.m. on the big day. I was wrong. Sadly, I didn't find out that helium does not last in latex balloons and metal balloons would have been the better choice. Happily, I found out soon enough so that we were able to convene with my mom, brother and his family (Dawn was sleeping as she was on midnights so she did her balloon release on her own when she woke up) for 15 minutes to release them on Christmas Eve at dusk.
My brother put out mini coke bottles at each of our plates at the dinner table. Self explanatory if you know anything about my dad. Nothing was said, nothing needed to be said. We all understood.
Merry Christmas Dad, wasn't the same without you this year. But I really believe you were with us in your own way.