Wow: I didn't realize how short this chapter was... bit it is one of my favorites... so I hope you enjoy it.
Thank you Katy for being a great beta!
On with the show:
When they got back from vacation, holiday preparations were in full swing. Christmas would be in Minnesota this year, barring any major snow storms, so Sam was a little more relaxed knowing that she was not responsible for a massive Christmas dinner. The lodge was wonderfully neutral and she was relieved that dinner would be group effort.
What was most exciting was that her dad, Mark, Lisa and the kids would be joining them. Everyone seemed to hit it off exceptionally well at Thanksgiving and when the idea came up while on a group Skype call, everyone jumped at the chance.
After getting caught up with everything at home, Jack immediately went into Christmas mode. This was their first Christmas as a family and Jack was determined to make it special. Last year Gracie had only been four months old and Lizzy had been having a particularly bad week, so Christmas had been very low key.
This year Jack was going all out Chevy Chase Christmas on them.
First there were the decorations.
"Do we really need this many lights?" asked Sam as they shopped at the local Lowes because according to Jack, he needed industrial Christmas decorations.
"This is my first Christmas with you and Gracie and I want it to be extra special," he said continuing to compare the two brands of lighting. Deciding to get LED in the traditional bulb shape had been easy. Now he had to choose between twinkling or flashing.
Sam picked up a stuffed Rudolph that Gracie was trying to reach, completely regretting it when the little girl immediately found the magic button that made it start singing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer in a nasally high pitched voice.
"Oh look," she said with mock happiness. "Its nose blinks."
"Cool," said Jack half-heartedly, not wanting to be taken from his quest for the perfect lights.
"Mine!" yelled Gracie as she made Rudolph dance in front of her.
Sam felt a headache coming on as her daughter pressed the button again when the song ended.
Several hundred dollars later, they left Lowes and headed home to start decorating. Sam knew unless the Goa'uld broke through the iris Jack was not going to be coerced from his task. He was determined that their house would be the most festively decorated on the block.
They lived in suburbia… they actually had a neighborhood contest. The place looked like Santa's village.
Sam liked almost all of the decorations.
Being a big kid at heart, Jack had insisted on using colored lights. So the house was perfect, he didn't do just the trim. No no no… every window and door was outlined in a rope of brightly colored lights. As were the trees, bushes and the walk, even the lamp post was reminiscent of a candy cane in a swirl of red and white. But he didn't stop there. Their yard was now a scene from Jack's favorite animated Christmas special and featured Bumble the abominable snowman, Hermey, Yukon Cornelius, Rudolf, Santa, Clarice, the train with square wheels, a spotted elephant and a few other characters that she couldn't name. She was starting to think her fiancé was a little OCD.
She could deal with this and she loved to watch Grace oh and ah and name all of the characters from the movie she had been watching every night with her father.
She was actually thrilled with all of it. Being military they hadn't invested in a ton of Christmas decorations, so this was a real novelty to her. Plus, she loved watching Jack be domestic. It had been downright sexy watching her hunk of a fiancé arrange a Christmas Village on one of their side tables.
There was just one exception to her love of all things in the Jack O'Neill Christmas mania.
Not Santa in general, because she's always had a soft spot for the big guy in red.
Specifically, it was the Santa on her front porch. He's was about 5 feet tall and looked like a real person. The animatronics were pretty decent and his vocal software was clear and diverse. All in all, Jack had spent a decent amount of cash on him because he was a good piece of workmanship.
But if that thing scared her one more time she was going to turn him into a toaster.
Santa likes to sing and wish you a Merry Christmas, do a little wiggle dance and about a million other things.
What she really wanted to do was take him apart to see how he ticked. Shutting the sneaky bastard up would certainly slow down the grey hairs rooting in her head because EVERY time she walked by that thing, it went off. Well not really. Sometimes it just stood there, staring at her with blank charcoal eyes.
It was completely random.
She'd walk by it a few times and it would do nothing. Oh, the glorious silence!
Then bang! She'd walk by and Santa would jump into song or ask her if she'd been good or her least favorite, tell her: Be a good girl or boy because Santa's watching you!
What's worse was the absolute look of glee on Jack's face when she put her hand to her chest because, yet again, that pain in the mitka startled her.
She wouldn't put it past her tricky fiancé to have messed with it. She's sure he's hiding a remote control because he's getting way too much enjoyment out of it.
Santa would have been a goner days ago if not for one thing; Gracie absolutely loves him. She hugs him, sings with him, dances with him and waves at him every time they cross the threshold. She even caught the toddler trying to pull him inside, but Mommy put her foot down on that one. Unfortunately Daddy just loves Santa and he's a big pushover for the curly headed little blonde.
She's almost certain that one day soon she's going to come home and Santa will be in her living room next to the tree.
She knows she's a grown woman and generally in their house, Mommy rules the roost. But this is Christmas, and she's trying to stay in the spirit of the season.
It's going to be a true Christmas miracle if she manages to get through the holiday without zatting Santa three times.
Thanks for reading and reviewing. I appreciate your feedback and comments!