For those who didn't know, I skipped Christmas and New Years in Warrior, which Ray was very sad about. Feeling Christmasy and wanting to write something, I wrote up what happened Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in Fæ
Here it is!
Kana wasn’t really sure what day was going to be Christmas until Nivan Tæja informed them that the next day they weren’t training, but taking the day off.
“Why?” Ahdahm asked him. “I’m not complaining,” he added when Eirren and Mabyn glared at him. “Just curious!”
“It’s Christmas Eve,” Nivan the Younger said. “Tomorrow’s Christmas, a big holiday in their world.”
Eirren, Kana, and Mabyn all snapped to attention, abandoning their dinner.
“SERIOUSLY!?” Mabyn snapped. “You couldn’t warn us at ALL!?!”
“Why are you so angry?” Doal asked, leaning back a little. At least he didn’t have that deer in headlights look like Dug did.
“BECAUSE WE AREN’T PREPAIRED!” Mabyn bellowed.
Now Doal’s expression matched Dug’s.
“We need a tree, decorations, and presents!” Eirren said from beneath a her hand on her face.
The boys frowned, glancing at one another. Kana knew they were probably wondering why their friends had suddenly gone mad.
“This is the biggest holiday of the year,” Kana explained. “Even my messed up family got me something. Usually soap I’m allergic to, but at least it’s something. AND WE HAVE NOTHING!!!”
The boys leaned back again.
Nivan Junior sighed. “Do you want to go shopping right after dinner then?”
Mabyn glared at him. “WE’RE SUPPOSED TO GO SHOPPING BEFORE THIS AND SPEND TONIGHT BEING DORKY AND FUN AND SINGING STUPID SONGS AND BEAUTIFUL SONGS AND STUFF!!!”
“Calm down,” Nivan Tæja said. “We’re doing that tomorrow. If you want to exchange gifts, however, you need to shop tonight.”
The village was sleepy as usual, and only a few shops were open after nightfall, as candles cost money. Some used majek to light their shops for a small amount of time, however, and they were open into the night. Kana, Eirren, and Mabyn wandered around, trying not to look at each other as they purchased gifts for each other. Once those were wrapped up and in their satchels, they came together and brainstormed on items for their friends. Nivan Tæja got a sweater, since he was always dressed a little fancy. Junior would receive a journal, “to write all his feels for Kana in,” Eirren said while Mabyn giggled and Kana blushed. For Doal they got a small knife, since he had already lost two boot knives. Ahdahm was getting a book he was in the middle of borrowing from a Fæ, and Dug was getting another brush for Frydum as his was falling apart. They even got a cute little picture for Princess Jessica, one of the city of Maby drawn from memory. Completely broke, and satisfied, the three of them met up with the boys and their teachers again, surprised they were all carrying bags full of goodies as well.
As they were walking back, they spotted a small café still open, and popped in for a little dessert.
“Happy Christmas Eve, girls,” Nivan told them as they all dug in.
For the first time Kana warmly said it back and smiled, actually looking forward to the next day.
Kana jerked upright, wondering why Junior was waking them up instead of the maids. Her memory returned with Mabyn stretched and then barked, “PRESENTS!”
“Yes!” Junior said, still shaking Kana’s foot. “So get up, we have a surprise for you guys!”
Grinning, Kana shooed Junior away so she could get dressed, and then raced with the others into Nivan Tæja’s room for the gift exchange. Only half dressed, in honor of not having to train Eirren had explained, they slid to a halt in the doorway, staring at the little, plastic Christmas Tree, complete with lights. Underneath it were several presents, wrapped up pretty complete with bows.
Junior laughed at their stunned expressions. “I told you there was a surprise!”
“How…?” Eirren asked.
“My sister and mom informed us that if we didn’t have a tree she’d let you strangle us,” he answered.
They stared at him. Mom?
“Did you wrap your gifts, or are they still in those bags you three are holding?” Nivan asked.
“Uh, no,” Mabyn said. “SOMEONE didn’t share their wrapping paper last night.”
The girls sat down by the tree and put their bags down next to the gifts, and the boys, who’d been pretty quiet, did the same.
“So what do we do? And why is this holiday so important? And why is there a tree? And why―”
Ahdahm covered Dug’s mouth. “Run in place before I smack you.”
“Remember, Christmas is a religious holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ,” Eirren explained. “The gift exchanging is in honor of the gift Jesus’s life was, as well as in memory of an awesome dude name Saint Nicholas, who gave gifts to little kids who were forced to work every day. The tree…I think is celebrating that Jesus came from heaven, and we decorate them to make them all pretty with personal and religious ornaments. The star on top is in honor of a star that appeared the night of Jesus’s birth.”
“Oh, hot,” Dug panted.
“You can stop running, now, we need to exchange gifts,” Mabyn said.
Once Dug sat down, Mabyn pulled out the brush for him, and handed it over.
“Yay!” He cried. “A new brush! I need one badly, I keep leaving little paint flecks from the handle in Frydum’s fur.”
“We know, that’s why we got it,” Eirren said. She pulled out Doal’s knife. “Try not to lose this, dude.”
Doal grinned. “I’ll do my best, but you know me.”
Mabyn laughed and hugged him. “My idea. Just saying.”
Kana pulled out Junior’s journal. Remembering why Eirren had thought of it, Kana blushed and stuttered, “Th-the-this is fu-f-for you.”
Junior took it with his bright smile. “Thank you.”
His father patted his shoulder. “You need it, you’re so absentminded.”
The kids laughed, but Kana couldn’t forget Eirren’s compliment and just blushed.
Nivan pulled out a small gift and handed it to Kana. “Here’s yours from empty-head and me.”
Kana opened it up and found a beautiful hand mirror. “Oh, wow! Thank you!”
“So when you look into it, you realize you’re as beautiful as it,” Junior said.
Kana’s mouth dropped open, and she turned bright red. “Umm, thanks.”
She looked back down, wondering how he could say that. She wasn’t half as pretty as the mirror, but put it down gently, wishing she was.
Dug gave Mabyn a big, thick scarf to keep her warm. Ahdahm gave Eirren a hair clip with some stones. Kana got another knife, “to take out her enemies” from Doal. Nivan and Junior gave Eirren a beautiful book about Fæ fairy tales, and Mabyn got a beautiful sweater tunic. Ahdahm loved his book, and Nivan laughed when they told him to slouch more. He pulled it on and did so. Kana also received some treats for Wish from Dug, and some chocolates from Ahdahm. Eirren loved the little drawing of a sarænu from Dug and the cookies from Doal. Mabyn gave Doal a kiss for the three books he got her, and a big hug to Ahdahm for the hot chocolate mix.
Then the girls sang some carols badly and told what they remembered of A Christmas Carol, and The Night Before Christmas.
The rest of the day they spent just relaxing. A little while later Princess Jessica came by and received her gift with a great deal of thanks. Kana loved just eating, and talking, and realized that perhaps the rest of her life would be full of Christmases like this, having fun, no yelling or screaming, no faking pleasure for another useless trinket while ignoring the insults being thrown at her from someone.
No. For the first of many more years to come, Christmas really was a day to relax, remember Christ, and spend time with her real family.