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A Vulcan Christmas

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It has been almost three seasons since he and Amanda took in Michael as their ward, and yet Sarek still frequently finds himself out of his depth when dealing with her.

Such as when she strides up to them after dinner one night, plants herself firmly in front of him and asks when they will begin decorating for Christmas.

"What is Christmas?" Spock asks curiously, looking up from his PADD.

"It's a human holiday," Amanda replies. "A lot of people on Earth celebrate around this time of year."

"However Vulcans do not," Sarek puts in, only for Amanda to elbow him in the stomach and make it clear she wishes to speak with him in private.

They retire to another room, and she rounds on him in frustration. "The girl lost her entire family, Sarek! The least we can do is organise a few decorations."

"I was given to understand it was more than a few decorations," Sarek tries, but Amanda clearly has her mind set on the idea.

So, despite Sarek's reservations, over the next few days their front room transforms from a sedate room of relaxation to what Amanda describes as a 'winter wonderland'. Sarek attempts to point out that it is early autumn, and in any case winter on Vulcan bears no resemblance to that on either Earth or Doctari Alpha, but is firmly ignored.

Vulcan lacks many of the items required for a true Earth Christmas, but Amanda proves to be extremely resourceful. She puts Spock and Michael to work making paper streamers, and brings in a small potted plant to serve as a Christmas tree. The sight of it festooned with lights and glittery baubles is nothing less than an eyesore, but both Michael and Amanda seem satisfied so Sarek decides to keep that thought to himself.

Amanda, in fact, gets so into the festivities that he begins to wonder if it is for herself as much as Michael. She has never seemed to miss the rituals from her human life, but he realises, it never really occurred to him before that she might.

When Amanda mentions that another key part of celebrating Christmas is with gifts, he comes up with an idea to ingratiate himself.

It is not easy, but it is worth it to see his wife's eyes brighten on 'Christmas morning' when she opens a box containing a golden five-pointed star.

"I was given to understand it is traditional," he explains.

"It is," Amanda replies softly, her eyes warm. She offers him the ozh'esta before crossing the room to fasten the star in its traditional place at the top of the 'tree'.

Spock and Michael offer their own gifts, lumpy and misshapen sculptures that purport to be of their sehlat I-Chaya, before sitting down to open the rest of the presents. Amanda praises them enthusiastically, then nudges Sarek pointedly until he offers a bland "very imaginative".

He still does not understand the point of this human holiday, but seeing the smile on Amanda's face as she watches the children unwrap their gifts, he thinks he does not have to.