Katie? When was the last time you came up here?" Jessie asked,

referring to the attic and pointing to the dust and grime covering

all of the boxes.

"Uhhh... I'm thinking last Christmas... no wait... I think we have

some Easter stuff I put out. Now where are all the ornaments? I could

have sworn I put them right here..." Katie said as she moved some

boxes around. She was bent over, seeing as being as tall as she was

if she stood, her head would hit the ceiling... which wasn't a good

thing, considering there were roofing nails sticking through. She

learned when she was young that hitting those things with your head

was not a good thing. She still had the scar to prove it.

"Sheesh, you guys sure are major pack rats." Jessie looked around at

all of the boxes. There had to be at least a hundred up there in that

little space. Katie laughed good-naturedly.

"You should see the garage. Most people park their cars in a garage,

but not us. Nope, we Singers can't do anything the same way as

*normal* people." She put an emphasis on 'normal' because, as

everyone knew, she was known from not being normal at all.

"Yep yep yep, it's covered in boxes and junk. And dad's tools, which

I swear he doesn't know how to use half of them. Heh, a couple of

weeks ago we made a path so that I could get everything down. Oh the

fun times." Jessie smirked.

"So have you found them yet?" She asked as she tapped her foot


"Hmmm... not yet, you're royal highness." Katie sarcastically

spouted, which earned her a playful shove from Jessie, which happened

to push her right into the box she needed.

"Ah-hah! Here it is." She said as she triumphantly picked up the box

and walked over to a grinning Jessie.

"See? What would you ever do without me?" She played as she pecked

Katie on the lips.

"Heh, not much, babe. Not much." And with that they climbed down the


"Hey, Katie? Isn't... ummm... a little unusual to get the ornaments

down before you have a tree?" The thought hadn't really occurred to

Katie, probably because her mind was always a little foggy when

Jessie was around.

"Oh, yeah... tree..." She said absentmindedly. "That would kinda be

good... wouldn't it?" Jessie laughed.

"Yeah, it would, Einstein"

"Umm, ok. Wanna go get a tree with me?" Katie said with a sheepish


"Heh, yeah. I'd like nothing better." Jessie hooked her arm with

Katie's and they made their way out of the house.

"What do you think of this one?" Katie said as she pointed at a

rather tall, but very nicely shaped tree. Jessie scrunched her nose

and shook her head.

"Awww, why not?" Katie fussed.

"Because, it's too tall for your house! It wouldn't even fit in the

door, much less on top of the car!" Katie just shrugged.

"But I like it!" She whined good naturedly. Jessie rolled her eyes

and pulled Katie over to a section of trees that were short enough.

"And I like you, but babe, that tree is way too tall. How 'bout this

one?" Jessie asked pointing to a rather small tree sitting in the

corner. Now it was Katie's turn to scrunch up her nose and shake her


"What?" Jessie asked, "It's perfect." Katie just laughed and ruffled

Jessie's hair.

"Umm... Jess, you're perfect... but that tree isn't. It wouldn't hold

half our ornaments." Jessie crossed her arms.

"Fine." She said with a playful huff, before they both broke out

laughing. They walked through the rest of the tree lot, and almost

gave up before Jessie turned around. Her breath caught in her throat

as she saw the most perfect tree standing all by itself in the corner.

Katie turned around, having lost her girlfriend, and saw Jessie just

standing there staring. She followed her gaze to the tree, and her

mouth fell open. She walked over to join her girlfriend and put her

arm around Jessie's waist.

"It's... wonderful." Jessie breathed.

"Magnificent." Katie added as she nodded.

"No... I think we should just cut the rope and let it fall." Katie


Jessie shook her head. "If you do that, the limbs may crack, or even

break off. No, that won't work. Someone will just have to stand under

it to catch it while the other cuts it off." She said as she grinned

at Katie.

Katie grimaced. "I guess that means I'm the one who gets to catch it,

eh?" Jessie smiled innocently.

"Well, I'm so small, I'm liable to get squashed. And then what would

you do? Hmmm?" Katie laughed at her girlfriend. She was just too

adorable sometimes.

"Ok, ok, point taken. I'll stand there. Do you have some scissors?"

Jessie nodded.

"Well, that wasn't too bad" Katie stated as they stood back and

looked at the tree that they had just set up. Jessie nodded in


"Now comes the fun part... the lights."

It actually didn't take them too long to get all of it together. They

had to replace a few bulbs here and there, but over all it wasn't

very hard.

"Katie, stand right there and hold this." Jessie said as she handed

Katie one end of the string of lights she was holding. She then made

her way around Katie, wrapping her with the lights

"What are you doing?" Katie asked, and Jessie just laughed.

"There." She stated, after she had completely wrapped Katie up from

head to toe in lights.

"Heh, ok Jess, you've had your fun... now can you please untie me so

we can put these on the tree?" Jessie smiled at her mischievously and

shook her head.

"Naw, I actually kind of like you like this. You look so cute...

nope, that doesn't even do you justice." Jessie said as she became


"You're beautiful." She whispered as she leaned up and softly

captured Katie's lips with her own.

"Ok, lights... check." Katie stated as she stared at the tree. "Now

comes my favorite part... the ornaments." Jessie tilted her head as

she stared at her girlfriend.

"Favorite, huh?"

"Yep, they're all memories. Everytime we took a family trip, or any

special occasion, we always got an ornament to put on the tree so we

could remember it." Katie said as she pulled the box over to where

she was sitting. "Take this one for example." She picked up a small

ornament of a girl with a softball uniform on and holding a baseball

bat. "This is from when I was 14 and on a softball team. I was their

star hitter. Mom gave this to me after we won the league

championships." She put that one on the tree and picked up another

one, this time it was glass ball with the nation's capital etched on

it. She laughed a little "This one was from the fourth time we went

to D.C. and I was 12... we went with some of our old friends.

Anyways, mom got this one at the capital gift shop after we nearly

got kicked out."

Jessie's eyes got big and she started laughing. "Kicked out? Why am I

not surprised..." Katie laughed and playfully swatted Jessie.

"Har har, very funny. For your information it was because I fell

asleep on mom's shoulder. Apparently they have a rule against that or


Katie told the history behind several others as they put them up on

the tree, and for the first time, Jessie realized how little she

really knew about Katie. With every ornament, Katie had a story, and

through that, Jessie got to look into Katie's life before her, and it

was wonderful.

About an hour later, they had finished putting all the ornaments on

the tree, and they both sat back and enjoyed the look of the tree. It

was getting dark, so when Katie turned the lights off, the tree

illuminated the room. Katie moved the table out of the middle of the

room, and they laid down and stared at the tree.

"It's... beautiful." was all Jessie could think to say. She'd

decorated many a tree in her time, but nothing like this... this was

special... very special. Because it was Katie's life.

"Yes, it is." Katie simply stated, looking directly at Jessie, who


"You know I love you, right?" Jessie asked and Katie paused for a


"Yes, but it never hurts to be reminded."

"I love you, Katie."

"I love you too, Jessie." And they kissed, an affirmation of the love

they felt in their hearts.

~*~Christmas evening~*~

"Jess? Can you come over in a bit?" Katie asked into the phone.

"Umm... I think so... we've finished about everything here. I'll go

tell them I'm heading out. Give me about a half hour."

A half hour later Jessie walked through the melting snow and up the

freshly shoveled sidewalk to Katie's house. She rang the doorbell,

and a moment later her girlfriend greeted her.

"Hey Billie." She said as she leaned over for a kiss. "Merry


"Mmmm... Merry Christmas to you too."

And for a few moments, they just stood there taking in the beauty of

the other. Jessie, lookin adorable in her stocking cap pulled down to

just above her eyes, with her curled hair flowing from under the cap,

and rosy windblown cheeks, and Katie, beautiful as always, with her

hair draped about her shoulders over her red, long sleeve top, and a

sparkle in her mossy green eyes.

"Come in." She said, after finding her voice. Jess smiled and thanked

her as she walked inside and took off her hat. In the corner stood

the Christmas tree, the story of Katie's life.

"Where are your parents?" Jessie asked and Katie shrugged.

"I think they went out to visit some people. Who knows." A small grin

crept across Jessie's face as she moved closer to her girlfriend and

enveloped her in a tight hug. Jessie looked up into Katie's eyes, and

saw only a look of love pouring out of them. She reached up and

placed a small kiss on Katie's lips. Katie leaned down into Jessie

and intensified the kiss, exploring every inch of Jessie's mouth and

never wanting it to end. Moments later, they both pulled away out of

breath and Katie rested her forehead on Jessie's while looking into

her clear blue eyes, and smiled.

"Nice to see you too..." Katie said as she took Jessie's hand and

lead her over to the tree.

"Come on, Christmas presents time!" She announced, and Jessie just

grinned. Katie led her over to a stack of 3 presents sitting under

the tree. "Ta-da!" She said as she pointed to them. Jessie's eyes got


"For me?" She uttered, barely audible, and Katie nodded her head with

a big grin on her face. Jessie went over to where she had laid her

coat down, and removed two small packages and put them down next to

her. Katie pecked her on the cheek, and motioned for her to open one

first. Jessie went over and picked up the largest package, and as she

did, her head hit a small bell (which Katie had told her they had

gotten at Santa's village at Holiday World, somewhere in Indiana).

"You know what they say about bells, right?" Jessie looked at her

strangely and Katie continued.

"Ever time a bell rings, and angel gets his wings."

"I think I've heard that before..."

"Way to go, Clarence!" Katie spouted, earning her another strange

look from Jessie.

"Oh, never mind. Just open your present." Jessie eagerly ripped away

the paper, revealing a brown box. She opened that, only to find

another smaller rapped box. She looked over at Katie, who was

smirking at her as she ripped off that layer and opened that box,

only to reveal yet another smaller rapped box. She proceeded to do

this three more times, till she got to a rather small, rectangular,

fancy box. Like something you'd get at a jewelry store, which is

exactly where Katie had gotten it. Jessie opened the box, and gasped

as she saw one of the most beautiful charm bracelets she'd ever seen

before. But it wasn't any normal charm bracelet, this one already had

several charms on it. She looked at each one as Katie explained.

"See, I had this idea awhile ago, and I thought I'd surprise you with

it. Each charm represents something special that happened between

us." Katie lifted the bracelet out and started explaining each one.

"This one represents the letter I wrote you," pointing to the pen

charm "and this one is from the school play," pointing to the poodle

skirt she had somehow managed to find. She listed off several others,

each representing a major point in their relationship.

Jessie leaned over and hugged Katie. "You have no idea how much this

means to me... really." Katie beamed up at her and kissed her

cheek. "I have an idea..." Jessie just smiled.

"Ok, you're turn now. Here, open this one." She said as she handed

Katie one of her presents.

Katie eagerly tore open the paper only to reveal a framed photograph

of them taken a few weeks ago. They were sitting outside on her

wooden swing and Katie had her arm around Jessie. Jessie had her arm

around Katie's waist and had laid her head on Katie's shoulder. It

was a candid shot, they were watching something in the distance, both

laughing at whatever it was. Jessie knew it was one of Katie's

favorite pictures, and she wanted her to have it.

"Oh Jess..." Katie breathed. "It's... wonderful!"

Jessie grinned at her. "I thought you may like that..."

Katie smiled over at her again, and picked up Jessie's next

present. "Here, this one's next."

Jessie took it and playfully shook it for a few seconds. After not

hearing anything she frowned and set it down. This time she carefully

opened the wrapping paper, because she knew it would drive Katie

crazy. Katie's philosophy was that it was trash anyways, and one

shouldn't spend their time trying to open it carefully. Jessie looked

over at her after a moment, and Katie was scowling. Jessie just

laughed and went back to her task at hand. She could tell by the

shape of the present that it was a CD, and wasn't really surprised at

which CD it was when she opened it.

"Billie Holiday, love songs" She read. "Awww, how sweet!" She said as

she flipped it over to look at the track listing.

"Heh, of course it has God Bless the Child, Billie, you don't think

I'd get one of her CDs without it, do you?"

Jessie grinned. "I guess not."

Katie looked her in the eye, "I was listening to it the other day and

though of you for some reason."

"Hmmm... I wonder why." Jessie remarked playfully as she picked up

her last present to Katie and handed it to her. Katie followed

Jessie's previous action and shook it, only to be surprised at the

fact that this one rattled.

"Hey look, you broke it!" Jessie teased. Katie ripped away the

wrapping paper and revealed one of the small Hallmark ornament boxes.

On the cover it showed a picture of a small white flower. As Katie

looked closer, she saw that it was a white gardenia. She opened the

box and pulled it out.

"Jess, it's beautiful!"

"I remember how you have an ornament for every special occasion."

Jessie said shyly. "I just wanted you to have a little memento of our

relationship to go up on the tree." Katie gave Jessie a quick peck on

the lips as she put the ornament on the tree and handed Jessie her

the final present.

Jessie wasted no time in ripping open the paper this time. Inside was

another ornament box, similar to the one she had just given Katie,

except on the cover it showed an ornament that doubled as a small

picture holder. Katie motioned for her to open that box as well, so

she did. Inside was the little ornament, with a picture of her and

Katie inside.

"I didn't see why my tree was the only one that should have memories

on it." Jessie leaned over and placed a tender kiss on Katie's lips.

As they broke apart, Katie looked outside.

"Hey, look! It's snowing again." Jessie turned and looked. She could

barely make out the snowflakes falling by the illumination of street

lights. She yawned.

"The perfect ending to a perfect day." She said as she curled up

against Katie.

"Yes, my love, it is. It truly is."