Advent Calendar - 13th December 2008

Trees, or Perfection is in the Eye of the Beholder
by Leesa Perrie

Set sometime in Season 1

Thank you to Jayne Perry for the beta-reading.

They had a large Christmas tree in each of their mansions, no matter if they were living there at the time or not.  He remembers different Christmases spent in different homes, but usually they settled for the holidays in their Palm Springs residence.

Each tree was different and yet always the same; carefully chosen for shape and size - no misshapen ones for their home - with tinsel and ornaments and lights all professionally decorated and set with precision.  A show piece, a marvel. 

And boring.

John had loved the tree he remembered from his second grade.  It had been a little lopsided, but that hadn’t mattered to him.  The decorations were haphazard and badly placed, the ornaments paper and plastic and all made by the children there.  He remembered the excitement of helping to dress the tree, the fun it involved and the feeling afterwards that it was theirs.  It had felt more special than the carefully coordinated ones at home, that Dave and he were not allowed to even touch, let alone decorate.

Now, here on Atlantis and cut off from Earth, they had to make do with a small fir-like tree from the mainland, carefully placed in the mess hall and decorated with odds and ends that they could spare.  No tinsel, so they used braided yarns in muted reds and yellow and green, courtesy of the Athosians.  No lights and a ban on the more traditional candles, for fear of setting the city alight, so they used broken Ancient crystals, that glinted in the artificial light, reflecting it in a rainbow of colours.  No ornaments, so they used whatever they could find or make - paper angels, computer CDs, even empty candy wrappers.  Anything shiny or colourful.  Trash made pretty.

His father would have shuddered at the sight of it, but he thought it the most beautiful tree he had ever seen, even more so than the tree from his school.

It was theirs, the Expedition’s, in every way.

It was just perfect.

The End

On to 14th December

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