It was their first Christmas together. They had been dating since early February, and wanted to make it special. Maureen invited Mark over for Christmas dinner. To be fair for both of them, they were heading back to Scarsdale for Hanukkah next week.

Maureen had never cooked a Christmas dinner before. Mark had never, well, Mark had never actually celebrated Christmas before. After a few hours of just staring at the turkey, the decided it was more trouble than it was worth and just cooked mashed potatoes, green beans, and cranberries. They ate their makeshift Christmas dinner on the couch with A Christmas Story playing on the TV.

"This was my favorite movie when I was a kid," Maureen said, snuggling closer to Mark. The dishes from their meal lay abandoned on the floor.

"It's pretty funny," Mark said, kissing her nose. "Ralphie's dad is a lot mine. Poor kid."

Maureen laughed. "Is your first Christmas enjoyable?"

"Yes, very," Mark smiled. "A lot of my friends celebrated Christmas and Hanukkah, but my parents were so strict about it. I always felt like I was missing out."

"I'm excited for next week," she said.

Mark's eyes widened. "Why? My family is freaking crazy."

She smiled again. "We'll get through it, Pookie."

"I got you something," Mark was happy to change the subject away from his family. He got up, walked over to his old, shaggy coat and worn yellow scarf, and pulled a small box from the pocket. Reaching down, he picked up the larger wrapped present on the floor. "This one first," he handed her the larger present. "Roger wrapped it."

"I see," she grinned, easily tearing away the poorly wrapped present. She pulled a teddy bear out of the paper and grinned. "I love teddy bears," she beamed. The small brown bear held a little heart. "Thank you, baby."

"You're welcome," he kissed her. "Here."

"Marky…" she took the small box and opened it. A small necklace with adark redstone was inside. "Pookie, it's beautiful."

Mark blushed. "It's your birthstone."

"Thank you, hun. I love it."

"Anything." He grinned, taking her into another passionate kiss.

"Wait, I got something for you too."

"Oh, you didn't have to, I don't…"

"Nonsense," she got up and picked up a parcel under her tiny tree. "Here, Pookie."

Mark accepted the gift and slowly unwrapped it. Inside was a new brown coat. It was a nice improvement compared to the thing he'd been wearing since sophomore year in college. Holding it up, another garment fell out.

"I made that myself," Maureen pointed to the scarf that had been hidden in the coat.

Mark picked it up. It was a soft, navy and white knit scarf. "Maureen… thank you." He wrapped it around his neck. "How do I look?"

"Adorable," she replied, burying him in kisses. "It gets better."


"I got you something else," Maureen's grin was devious, "but I left it in the bedroom."

And with that, she hopped up and skipped off to the back of the apartment, dragging Mark along by his new scarf.