Hoping to meet someone special, in 2010 Seth Smiley decided to give online dating a try. Soon after posting his profile, Octavius Humphries reached out to him and they began an email correspondence.


Despite their age difference—Seth is 19 years older than Octavius—they immediately hit it off, bonding over their shared search for “commitment, consistency, and (a) connection.”

Eventually they met in person, going on their first date on Christmas Eve. Unsure of Octavius’ plans for the holiday, Seth invited him to dinner the next night at his family’s Atlanta home. Octavius, who was still grieving the deaths of his parents, had, unbeknownst to Seth, planned on spending the holiday alone. Instead, he reluctantly accepted Seth’s invitation.

At StoryCorps, Octavius (above left) and Seth (above right), along with Seth’s mother, Carole Smiley, sat down to remember their first Christmas together, as well as a more recent memorable holiday event.

Originally aired December 25, 2015, on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Above photo: Seth, Octavius, and their son Julian (photo courtesy of the Smiley-Humphries family).