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Celine Dion Keeps Her Late Husband's Christmas Traditions Alive for Her Kids (EXCLUSIVE)

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High up in Montana's Rocky Mountains lies the hidden retreat where Celine Dion and her family will vacation over the Christmas holidays during a break from her show at Las Vegas' Caesars Palace. The Canadian chanteuse and her three sons plan to ski and sip hot chocolate while making new memories and sharing old ones. "This trip to Montana is so important to Celine," a friend of the star told Closer Weekly. "It's a family tradition."

Since the cancer death of her beloved husband, René Angélil, in 2016, Celine, 49, has worked hard to honor his spirit with their sons, René-Charles, 16, and twins Eddy and Nelson, 7. "Celine still feels René's presence in Montana," the friend explained about the star's escape to the exclusive Yellowstone Club. "René loved going there. He loved skiing with them, relaxing, and spending Christmas together as a family. She wants the boys to maintain that connection to their father. This was his happy place."

Celine with her eldest son, René-Charles. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

In Montana, Celine will be joined by other members of her extended family, including her sister and René's three adult children from his previous marriages. The group will spend their days on the slopes or relaxing around the two estates Celine has rented. In the evening, they'll come together for festive dinners prepared by a private chef followed by long nights of conversation and music around the fireplace. "Last year when Celine returned for the first time since René died, she said she could feel him watching over her and her boys," the friend told Closer.

Though René is much missed, Celine is determined to maintain an upbeat spirit. She's worked hard with her boys — especially the twins — to help them remember their father with joy instead of tears. "When she talks about René in front of the children, it is always with a smile," the friend said. "Of course, Celine has moments where she cries to other adults, but you would never know it around the boys."

Celine with her twins. (Photo Credit: Splash)

With their mother's love and guidance, her children have been resilient. René-Charles plays youth hockey with Las Vegas' Jr. Golden Knights, while the twins have become adept skiers. Celine has been getting on with her life, too. "After René's death, everyone worried about who would step in to manage Celine, but she took over that role herself and has done an amazing job," an insider revealed. While Celine remains optimistic about 2018, confidants confessed that finding new love is not among her resolutions. "I don't think dating is a priority for her," the insider said. "When she's not working, she's focused on being the best mom she can be to those kids."

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