Kurt stood in the living room early on Christmas eve morning in his holiday themed pyjama’s and reindeer slippers. He watched the lights twinkling on the Christmas tree, and he gently touched a few of the homemade ornaments from over the years. The tree was nothing like the ones that had been gracing the Hummel living room for the past six years. There was no theme that encompassed all the decorations, no monochrome color palate, no clear twinkling lights. Instead, it was a holiday mishmash of Santa’s, snowmen, reindeer, penguins, and other assorted random figures in all shapes, sizes and colors. Even the lights were multicolored, red, blues, yellows, greens and even pinks that blinked and twinkled in seemingly random patterns. This year it was not just Kurt and his dad celebrating the holidays. They’d added Carole and Finn to their family and for the first time in a long time, Kurt felt like a child again.
“Whatcha doing?” Finn asked softly. His giant hand warmed Kurt’s lower back.
“Just looking at the tree and remembering.” Kurt sniffled a little, tears pricking at his eyes. “We haven’t decorated for Christmas like this since, well, you know.”
Finn’s hand drifted to Kurt’s opposite hip and then pulled his body into the crook of Finn’s larger one. Sometimes it felt like that space was custom made for Kurt- the two of them slotting together like the hardwood floor Finn had helped Burt install in the dining room.
Kurt wrapped his arms around Finn’s torso. “I used to love to sit with her and look at the tree like this. She would tell me stories of where certain ornaments came from, stories of Christmases when I was little, when she was little. She loved Christmas.” Kurt sniffled and looked up at Finn. “She would have loved you.”
Finn pulled Kurt with him over into the over sized arm chair in the corner, pulling Kurt down with him. Kurt and Blaine had sat in this chair together- side by side, but with Finn it ended up with Kurt more or less sitting in his lap. Finn pulled the ‘couch blanket’ from the back of the chair around their shoulders. “Tell me about the ornaments Kurt.”
“I, uh, I’m not sure I remember,” Kurt stammered. “And so many of them I don’t know because they’re yours.”
“Well I already know those, duh,” Finn joked. “See that glittery gold star of David made of Popsicle sticks? Puck made that when we were 7. It was just after his dad left. He gave it to my mom as a Christmas gift because the Puckerman’s didn’t ever do a tree. My mom has put it on the tree every year.”
“The silver and blue glittery snowman.” Kurt pointed to three glittery balls stuck one on top of another with googly eyes and an orange pompom nose. “I made that when I was 4. I was sad that we didn’t have a white glitter, but mom asked me what other colors snow could be, like how it might be blue because it’s cold or silver because ice is clear and shiny.”
“The block with the letter C,” Finn pointed to the ornament he was talking about. “I made that for my mom during winter camp when I was in grade 5.”
“See the blue and green globe?” Kurt asked. “That was the last ornament I gave my mom. She used to say I was her whole world. She’d tell me stories of places she’d been. As a young girl, she traveled to Canada, England, and Australia with her parents. She and my dad went to Mexico on their honeymoon. She also told me about Chicago and New York and St.Louis where she went to University.”
“You should go to all those places,” Finn whispered softly.
“Would you come with me?”
Kurt leaned forward and pressed his lips against Finn’s. Kurt smiled when he pulled his lips away, and Finn reacted by only snuggling in closer to him.
“See the gingerbread man with the missing arm?” Finn asked. “I thought when we were making them in school that it was real gingerbread dough. I didn’t know it was salt clay dough. Yuck!” Finn shuddered and made a face in remembrance.
“Oh Finn,” Kurt giggled. “We can make some real gingerbread today.”
Finn’s smile was large and genuine.
“Do you see all the crochet snowflakes?” Kurt gestured to the handmade ornaments hanging from most of the bottom branches of the tree. “Mom and I made them when she was in the hospital. At first she was making them, something to do, you know while she was there. And then she taught me how, and finally near the end, when she was tired all the time, I made them while she slept on and off.”
“They’re beautiful,” Finn said. “How is it that you can do everything so perfectly?”
Kurt scoffed. “I don’t.”
Finn tilted his head to the side and looked at Kurt. “Whatever you say, Dude.” Finn looked up to the top of the tree. “We’d always had a star on our tree. Did you always have an angel?”
Kurt shook his head. “We always had a star too before. And then after, it just seemed right to have an angel. It’s kind of like she’s here with us.” Kurt looked at Finn, his eyes watery. “It’s stupid, I know.”
“No, no, it’s not stupid at all Kurt,” Finn said. “I think it’s great actually. I know how much you love her and how you still miss her. But if she was still here, I don’t know any possible way Mom and I would be.” Finn leaned in and kissed Kurt; softly at first but gradually more insistent until he broke the kiss breathless.
“I know,” Kurt said, breathing heavily. “But we’re happy now. And that is what matters.” Sitting in that chair, wrapped in a blanket and Finn; Christmas like this would work too, thought Kurt.