With Days To Live, Dying Father Celebrates Final Christmas with Family in July


The sound of carols. The smell of freshly baked cookies. Red and white and green everywhere.

Even if you don’t live in a place that gets snow, you know what those signs mean: Christmas!

It’s not like you could miss it. Stores gear up for the holiday months in advance, stepping all over Thanksgiving’s toes and just barely respecting Halloween.

But for one family, Christmas came early. Really early — almost half a year ahead of schedule. But it was for a very special reason.

Andrew Heafner, father to four kids, is dying. He’s been battling colon cancer but decided that he was done and didn’t want to pursue further treatment.

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The doctors told him he only had days to live, but Heafner was more optimistic than that.

“Who knows how long I got,” the 65-year-old said to Fox News. “They say a few days, but I’ve lasted a bit longer than that.”

His last wish? To experience one more Christmas.

“Christmas is one my favorite times of the year so I decided to have Christmas early,” he said.

The family rallied. They got out the Christmas decor and the tree, donned Christmas apparel and turned the otherwise hot July into a winter wonderland.

The scene was set — but something crucial was missing. “Didn’t have any eggnog,” Heafner said.

Despite that omission, everything else was picture-perfect and gave the family an opportunity to honor their father’s wishes one last time.

“He wanted to stay around until it’s freezing cold outside,” his son, Thomas, said, “but I didn’t mind spending Christmas in shorts and a t-shirt. So it’s a win-win.”

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While the rest of the family will have two Christmases this year, this celebration in the middle of the summer is the one that they’ll hold near and dear.

Thomas said that the day was well worth it: “It meant a lot to him and it’s one of those things that we’ll never forget that.”

“It was just wonderful, absolutely wonderful,” the dad said. “I got the tree just the way I like it, with as many ornaments we could put on it and lights on it.”

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