Days tended to roll into one so Rick was a little surprised when he heard someone humming Christmas carols. It took a while before he figured out it was just two days to Christmas but he guessed the people in Woodbury must have had it a lot easier than most of the survivors; living in their houses safe behind a manned wall, eating well from the food they scavenged and grew, and checking off the days between festivals. They weren't so lucky now. The Governor's insanity had ended it all and the few that had survived his madness were now huddled in the cells of the prison, taken in by the very people the Governor had sought to destroy.
"Christmas," Daryl snorted derisively. "Ain't seen one of them in years, even before the zombies."
Rick glanced down at the newborn cradled in his arms, suckling on the bottle of milk Daryl had provided. He owed him more than he could ever repay, and even though Daryl sounded like he didn't care much for Christmas Rick had detected a slight wistfulness. Once Judith had drunk herself into a daze he laid her down in the crib in the corner of his cell and covered her with a blanket, pressing a kiss against her baby soft skin before drawing back. She was a good baby and would sleep a couple of hours with a full belly of milk.
Daryl joined him on their bed made from two narrow cots lashed together, neither of them bothering to remove more than a layer of clothing, prepared for the worst at all times, boots always on. It didn't stop them from hands fumbling beneath clothing, touching warm skin, teasing and caressing, with gentle kisses and hard, low sobs as they found a little happiness and pleasure in this cruel new world.
Rick left early the next morning, heading out on a scavenger run with Maggie and Glenn. Most places had been stripped clean but once they had found enough food to cover a few more meals for everyone Rick figured he should think of hearts and souls as well as nourishment for bodies. While Glenn stood guard, he and Maggie climbed into the attic of first one abandoned house and then another, hunting around until Rick found what he wanted. Once they arrived back at the prison he made sure he kept Daryl busy on another run.
When they returned, Rick hung back as Daryl stepped into the prison block that had become their home, seeing his eyes widen at the tinsel wrapped around metal bars, and the fake Christmas tree standing six feet high, decorated in tinsel and snow ornaments. The small pile of gifts at its base, wrapped in whatever was handy, would grow before the night was over, and tomorrow they would enjoy a meager feast.
Maybe it wouldn't be like one of the glorious, gluttonous Christmases of past years, but they would celebrate life, and hope, and love together.