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His Most Precious Gifts

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The Wood household had always had a live tree at Christmas. Elijah and Hannah had loved going to the tree lot to pick out the perfect tree. He loved the pine smell, but never got over finding out that even though the trees were real, the lot owners often sprayed their trees with a pine air freshener to enhance their natural scent.

The scent of pine coming from the tree now standing on their cabin floor was genuine. Sean believed in conservation and not disturbing the natural beauty of the forest, but at Christmas, he broke his rule. Sean had stopped putting up a tree after Daniel’s death, but after Elijah had come into his life, knowing how much it would mean to him, Sean had decided it was time to celebrate the holiday again, and Elijah couldn’t contain his excitement their first Christmas together when Sean explained that they would be cutting down a fresh tree to decorate for Christmas. His excitement hadn’t lessened when they did it the second time, displaying a childlike awe and wonder Sean hoped he would never lose.

The tree this year was even more spectacular than last year’s. Taller, and decorated with lights, ornaments, strings of beads, and a beautiful star topper, the tree was dazzling. Sean and Elijah had even hung garland and lights along the mantle above the fireplace, and hanging down from the mantle, Christmas stockings. Even though it was just the two of them, they had included stockings for loved ones that couldn’t join them. Alongside Sean and Elijah’s stockings was a stocking for Hannah, and another for Tilda.

And of course, there were the presents. Elijah had tried to convince Sean not to buy him anything this year, that nothing could top the desk he’d built for him, but judging by the pile of colorfully wrapped presents under the tree, he hadn’t been very successful.

Elijah would love whatever Sean gave him, but the presents wouldn’t be the most important thing to him this year. The love they shared, and the life they were making together. These were the gifts that Elijah would hold most precious this Christmas.