It’s that time of year again. You know, the one where everyone is happy, festive, and celebrating? Christmas is just around the corner and you can say it definitely isn’t Aubrey’s favorite time of the year.
The same cannot be said for her younger counterpart.
Emily loves Christmas. She starts listening to her Christmas playlist on December 1st, which means she’s also been singing all the songs on said playlist around the apartment. She loves the shopping, the Christmas movies on TV, and the way everyone is extra giving.
The thing Emily loves most though, is decorating. On 20th every year, Emily comes home with more bags than she should be able to carry, full of decorations (she would decorate earlier, but she knows Aubrey doesn’t like it as much). If the younger girl weren’t so clearly talented in the music world, Aubrey sure thinks she would have been an interior designer with the way she decorates for the holidays.
Which is why Aubrey is so confused when she comes home from work to find their apartment as she left it this morning.
“Em?” Aubrey calls out as she makes her way through their apartment.
“In here!” Emily replies. Aubrey follows her voice to their living room where Emily is stretched out on the couch with their dog, Captain.
“It is the 20th, right?” Aubrey asks after leaning down to greet Emily with a kiss.
“Yeah, I think so. Why?” Emily asks sitting up to make room for Aubrey.
“I’m just confused because normally, I’d come home to our own Winter Wonderland. You know, lights boarding the walls, Christmas tree by the fireplace, and Captain in his reindeer antlers?”
Emily laughs, “Well, Captain ate his reindeer antlers last year, didn’t you buddy?”
The German shepherd licks Emily’s cheek in response and hops off the couch to go lay on his completely normal, non-decorative dog bed.
“What’s going on, babe?” Aubrey touches the back of her hand to Emily’s forehead, “Are you feeling okay?”
Emily laughs and playfully bats away Aubrey’s hand, which Aubrey then rests on Emily’s leg. “I feel fine, Bree. Is it that weird that I didn’t decorate this year?”
“Yes,” Aubrey deadpans, “it’s actually very weird.”
“Well, I just figured that you could have a turn to have things the way you enjoy this year. And you don’t love all the lights and ornaments,” Emily explains grabbing Aubrey’s hand from her leg to intertwine their fingers, “I’ll still probably bake cookies though because even though you act like you hate them, they somehow always disappear and you randomly go on extra runs with Chloe.”
“You love all of those things though, Em. You should celebrate if you want to.”
Emily smiles softly at her girlfriend, “I just want to make you happy and relaxed. I know this time of year is difficult for you. You never got to have a good Christmas because your dad was always gone and I want you to be comfortable and celebrate however you choose. I don’t want to force all of the decorations, movies, and shopping on you. I want Christmas to start becoming good for you.”
Aubrey melts. How did she get someone so caring and kind? Emily surprises her everyday.
“Em...” Aubrey starts.
“Nope. No arguments. This is what we’re doing this year,” Emily stands up and gives Aubrey a pointed look, “Plus, we don’t have time to argue about it anyway because you still have to bake cookies with me.”
“Whatever you say,” Aubrey chuckles getting up off the couch.
“Come on, Captain! You can lick the sugar that falls on the floor.”
Aubrey watches with a smile on her face as her tall, goofy girlfriend runs into the kitchen, German Shepherd puppy hot on her heels.
Emily has a Holiday work party at the recording studio her and Beca work at every year on December 21st before they take a week long break. It normally means Emily gets home a little bit later on the 21st.
So Aubrey calls in some favors.
“Hi, thank God you’re here. I have no idea where to start with this shit,” Aubrey let’s a beaming Chloe Beale into her apartment.
“Oh don’t you worry, Bree. This place is gonna look Aca-amazing once I’m done here,” Chloe sets down bags and bags of decorations on the kitchen table.
“Yo, Cap where do you want all this?” Cynthia Rose and Stacie come stumbling through the door behind Chloe with arms full of booze.
“Just set it in the kitchen and I’ll sort it out later,” Aubrey says.
She’s decided that her Grinch-like self will be surprising Emily with a Bella’s Christmas party. So the Bella’s minus Beca and Emily are here to help Aubrey decorate their apartment.
“Come on, you wild beast! You’re harder to wrangle than the dingoes back home,” Aubrey looks over to find Fat Amy attempting to get Captain in a Christmas sweater and antlers.
Shaking her head and laughing to herself, Aubrey goes to join Chloe in the decorating.
“No, dude all I’m saying it that I don’t like the fact that we can only have eggnog at the party and it’s non-alcoholic,” Beca pants as she tries keeping up with Emily walking up the stairs to her apartment.
“So, basically you’re just mad that you can’t get drunk at work?” Emily laughs.
“Yes! I don’t know how anyone expects me to socialize especially in a work setting without having anything!”
Emily chuckles as she pulls her keys out of her bag to unlock the door.
Emily jumps backwards a bit into Beca who’s standing right behind her.
“Come on, Legacy. The party’s this way, not outside.” Beca pushes the younger girl forward into her home.
“What is all of this?” Emily asks as Aubrey approaches her.
“This is for you. Welcome home, love.”
Emily takes it all in. The lights, the tree, then festive sweaters, even Captains Christmas costume.
“...but why? We said we were gonna focus on you this year.” Emily tears up a bit.
Aubrey moves forward to cup Emily’s cheeks, “Hey, hey, hey. Listen to me. This is for me too.”
“How? You hate all of this.”
“But I love you. And you love Christmas. Nothing makes me happier than seeing you so happy and excited everyday,”
Emily leans into Aubrey’s touch further, wrapping her own arms around Aubrey’s waist, “I just want you to have a good Christmas.”
“I am. I’m starting to enjoy this because of you. You’re making the bad memories fade and you’re replacing them with new ones. Instead of memories of an empty house, no presents, and no cheer, I wake up every year now to a beautiful, caring girlfriend who gets me the perfect gift, an apartment that feels cozy and bright, and a goofy puppy in silly reindeer antlers.”
Aubrey wipes the tear that falls from Emily’s eye. Emily smiles at the blonde in front of her.
“Plus, despite the Christmas theme, this is a Bella’s party after all. And we can’t miss out on this.”
Glancing around their home, Emily see’s Chloe forcing Beca to take a selfie in her newly donned Christmas sweater, Amy lining up shots of spiked eggnog for herself, Stacie, CR, and Flo. Jessica and Ashley are playing with Captain in the living room, and Lily is nowhere to be found. As expected. Emily loves her little family.
“You’re right. Let’s get in there then,” Emily says. “Thank you. For all of this. I love you so much.”
“I love you too, baby,” Aubrey leans up to kiss Emily on the nose. Emily closes her eyes and crinkles her nose in response.
“I guess we should go say hi now.”
“Not so fast,” Aubrey pulls Emily back. “Look,” Aubrey gestures to look up.
“Oh my god...” Emily chuckles.
“Mistletoe, bitches!!!” Amy shouts and the Bella’s cheer.
“This is beyond cheesy of you,” Emily beams.
“Yeah, well. It’s your fault honestly.”
“Merry Christmas, Bree.”
“Merry Christmas, darling,” Aubrey leans in, lips meeting her girlfriends gently.
Maybe Christmas isn’t so bad after all.