The San Damiano Retreat, a religious refuge in Danville that usually closes for the holidays, delivered a Christmas to remember for families who were evacuated from their Butte County homes last month due to the Camp Fire.
The retreat has provided a much-need breather for the wildfire survivors who have been living with friends or family or at shelters for more than six weeks since the fire started. It has helped with some of the healing.
The retreat opened its doors to about 150 Camp Fire evacuees, hosting them for the holidays so they could relax, reconnect with nature and perhaps even share their stories of survival.
On Tuesday, more than 30 children at the retreat whose toys were destroyed by flames got a visit from Santa Claus.
Mandi Moon, a mother of six, is still looking for a permanent home. The Moon family moved to Paradise form Utah just before the Camp Fire took everything.
"I have to be strong for six," Moon said. "We're still sleeping in the truck; we're still looking for a home."
The evacuees will return to Butte County on Wednesday.