This is half of my Caryler Secret Santa gift for Thecherokeerose! The other half is sadly too short to publish, so this is my contribution to the holiday collection of feelgood fics. so here's a lil Christmas minific to fit the season! Just go with the timeline, and everything will be right as rain. This is set probably just before they find the prison, when they're just on the road, traveling with no destination.

It's just another day on the march to nowhere. Days don't mean anything, and time means even less. In the beginning, it was fun to guess what day it was

No one cares anymore. No one wakes up upset it's an early Monday morning. No one sleeps into the afternoon on Sundays because they can. So why get excited about another day? There became an unspoken consensus to not bring up birthdays, or other holidays, if for some reason they even knew the date at all.

In the beginning, it was different though. The adults would put on brave faces for the kids to give them something to look forward to. Carl and Sophia saw right through it, and both figured the falsetto smiles were more for the benefit of the adults struggling to keep it together.

The first Christmas experienced on the road was more of a test of patience than a holiday. No one wanted to do it. The memories of family, traditions, and food was too draining on the war-weary survivors. Surviving was the gift, and that was fought for, not given. If someone found something that a group member would like, it was given right away. No point in waiting if they might not be here tomorrow.

As time pressed on, and the seasons passed, the group continued to stay alive the best they could, yet the supplies in Georgia were running low, and the idea that the whole state had been exhausted became a very real possibility. The suggestion to move north was not surprising to anyone, but it was a move that few wanted to act on. No one had ever lived through a truly cold winter, either in the elements or in a home, and they lacked the supplies to make it through the snow.

With pros and cons drawn up, the notion was put to a vote. With much trepidation, the group decided to north to tiptoe the snowline.

The march north was slow and exhausting, but supplies were more readily available than in Georgia. The were even days good enough where spirits were high enough to suggest they stay in this part of Kentucky, or that part of Tennessee. Yet eyes never left the goal of Ohio, the place closest to them that wasn't in the mountains.

If they could settle down for a season to stock up on supplies while the threat of walkers is low, maybe a more stable life could be achieved. At least, that's the hope.

The trek north ended around late November, and snow still was not on the ground. A medium sized hunting cabin was found in the countryside, and that was deemed the best place to stay. Preparations for a frigid winter were underway, and the supplies were not hard to come by. No one with winter experience would pick Ohio as the place to stop going north, so cold weather gear was found in sporting good shops. Finally, some luck!

Days started becoming shorter and shorter, and one day Maggie announced it was the winter solstice, using an old almanac she found in the corner of the cabin. People were concerned more by the fact that snow was coming, rather than winter beginning. Glenn commented offhandedly that it was strange to not have some accumulated snow, and that maybe it would mean there's a mild winter coming. When flakes began falling the next day, the group was sure to tell him off for cursing the weather.

It was hard to stay mad at him for long, though. The Georgia natives all loved the novelty of the soft, wet piles. The few flakes slowly progressed into a full on blizzard. The cabin was abuzz with both excitement and nervousness.

When it finally stopped, Carl was the first to bust from the doors to frolic in the feet of snow. Soon, everyone joined him. The carelessness and exuberance felt by each person was visible on everyone's faces, as well as the cold! Daryl, not used to the mild winters of Georgia, stood shivering in his winter gear. He was taking in the sight in front of him.

Rick rolling in the snow making snow angels with Carl, Maggie and Glenn were making a snowman in the likeness of Rick, complete with his Sheriff's hat. That was quickly put to rest when Glenn was hit with a snowball from Maggie. Everyone was flinging snow left and right, all laughing madly. He caught eyes with Carol and she ran over to him, snowball in hand.

"Hey, what's that?" She pointed over Daryl's shoulder, and when he turned, she shoved the snow down his collar. With a yelp, he frantically danced to shake it out of his shirt, Carol laughing with fake maliciousness at the sight.

Daryl ducked down to quick make a snowball and pelted her right in the chest.

"Cheap shot! But I'll allow it." They were grinning from ear to ear. Carol took a step forward, and leaned into Daryl's ear, "Merry Christmas," And with a quick peck on the cheek, she shoved another handful of snow down the front of his jacket before sprinting away, screaming with laughter as she goes.

With a grin as bright as the blinding snow, Daryl chased her. Maybe it's time for Christmas to become special again.

Merry Christmas! I hope you don't mind the subtle Caryl, that's what I do best! If you would like more shippy work, check out my other fics!