Emma was never a huge fan of Christmas, not necessarily a Scrooge just indifferent about it. She didn't go out of her way to join the festivities; that would require friends and family, two things that were always out of reach. While she loved the easy availability of gingerbread and eggnog, the stigma of being alone hampered any other enjoyment she could have gotten.
With the discovery of both Henry and her parents, Emma knew that the holidays would be different this year. Sure enough when December hit, Mary Margaret and Henry entered “Christmas Mode”. At first it felt nice to be surrounded by all the warmth and cheer that came with the holiday but after two weeks of Christmas music and movies Emma had had enough of the holiday. She wasn’t even safe at the station. David liked to play Christmas music because he thought it would liven the place up and the one time she changed it, he spent the rest of the day sulking.
Which is why on the Friday before Christmas, she opted to go over to Aurora’s place after her shift at the station. Emma figured she would get a break from the festive spirit since, as far as she knew, the Enchanted Forest didn’t even have a Santa. As one of the newer arrivals, Aurora was still in the process of learning about this world which meant she was one of the few who hadn’t thrown themselves into the festivities. Aurora wasn’t even aware the holiday existed until a few days ago so Emma was confident that she had found a Christmas free place.
So when she arrived at Aurora’s apartment, a bare Christmas tree was the last thing she expected.
Emma walked in slowly, eyes roaming the room until they finally landed on the small figure at the base of the tree. Aurora, acknowledging her presence, turned and looked at her with a beaming smile.
“Oh! I didn’t think you would come over today! Is everything okay?”
Emma nodded. “Yeah everything is fine but,” she gestured at the tree, “what’s going on with that?”
Aurora turned her head to one side but kept her eyes on Emma. “It’s a Christmas tree, at least I hope it is? Henry and I went down to the lot but there wasn’t much left.”
“You and Henry?”
She made a vague sound in her throat as Emma settled in next to her.
“Did he tell you that you need to decorate it?”
Aurora gave her a short side-glance. “Of course, I just wanted to plan it all out first.” A suspicious little half-smile curved her lips, “But you’re free to help if you want.”
Emma chewed her lip, slightly debating with herself. As much as she liked the princess, she was a bit tired. Decorating a Christmas tree was something she wanted to avoid but when she snuck a glance over at Aurora she knew she was in too deep.
“Just tell me what to do.”
Aurora grinned, pointing at the box next to the door. “Bring that and we can get started. I think I know I how I want it to look.”
Smiling, Emma stood up and shuffled over to the box in question, picking it up with no difficulty.
“A bit light, no?” she said.
“Aurora shrugged, “I didn’t want to overdo it. That’s why I only got ornaments, no lights.”
Emma raised an eyebrow, “No lights? Can you even do that?”
“I want it to look nice, not gaudy,” Aurora sniffed. She eased herself up, holding out a hand towards Emma. “Hand me the star.”
Grinning, Emma handed her a bright blue bauble instead. “The star goes on last, Ro. And,” she gestured at herself, “usually by someone tall.”
She glanced back at the tree, “Start from the bottom?”
Emma nodded, “Ideally? Never really decorated a tree before myself.”
She paused and looked over at Emma, “I thought everyone did?”
“Not me,” Emma scowled, “it’s not really something that you can do on your own.” She leaned over and placed a silver bauble on the tree. “This is my first time.”
Aurora cocked her head slightly to one side. “Well in that case, I’m flattered you chose to do it with me.”
They finished decorating the tree within an hour and Emma was quite surprised to learn that she had fun. In fact when Aurora suggested they watch a Christmas movie, Emma found herself agreeing and was soon wrapped up in a warm quilt with Aurora.
Halfway into the movie Aurora snuggled deeper into the cushions, “We should do this again next year.”
Emma just hummed happily in agreement.