Snow falling gently on the ground
'Tis is the night before
And in my heart there is no doubt
That this is gonna be
The brightest holiday
'Cause here you are with me
Baby, baby, I can't wait

You couldn't remember the last night you had spent at the trailer.

You had moved into Meredith's house and you loved living with her but it seemed weird to realize you didn't remember the last night you had spent in your own trailer, on your own land where one day you and Mer would build your own house. You had loved your trailer and your land and you had kind of missed it, regardless of how much you loved saying everything that was Meredith's was yours.

Except you weren't in the trailer tonight because you had missed it. You were in the trailer tonight because the night before you had laid awake all night thinking about yours and Meredith's first Christmas together and you had suddenly realized that you didn't want the day to start with Cristina climbing into bed with you to complain to Meredith about something and that as much as you appreciated Izzie hanging up a stocking with your name on it, you weren't a fan of the idea of her dragging you and Meredith out of bed in the morning. Usually you didn't mind sharing Meredith with her roommates but it was their first Christmas together and sharing it with them on that day didn't seem fair. You wanted your girlfriend to yourself on your first Christmas.

To spend this special time of year with someone who
Makes me feel the special way that you do

Which had led to dragging her out of bed really early even though it was both of your days off and that happened so rarely that either sleeping in or morning sex probably would have been the more logical decision. And you had spent the day dragging your girlfriend through the stores, trying to find what you could to make sure you could have your own Christmas in the trailer.

She had grumbled and groaned and swore at you a little but now she was smiling as she spread out the branches on the tiny artificial tree you had managed to find.

"I don't think I've ever decorated a Christmas tree on Christmas Eve before," you laugh as you stir the eggnog you had insisted on making.

"I have," she sighed. "My mom…I'm pretty sure my mom forgot about Christmas until last minute so she would drag a tree home, usually the saddest tree ever, like a Charlie Brown Christmas tree and then she'd leave and I'd decorate it by myself."

"That's kind of sad," you sighed, feeling your chest tighten at the thought of what her childhood had been.

"Yeah," she breathed. "I guess, I didn't know it at the time. It was just how Christmas was."

"You did get gifts, right?"

"Yeah, I got gifts," she nodded. "I opened them by myself but I did get them."

"Hmmm…" you sighed, pouring some eggnog into two cups. This is why you had to do this; this was why you had dragged her into the stores. Because a Christmas Eve pulled together the day before probably wasn't perfect but it was better than what she had had and it was better than any of her friends ruining it. She had always deserved it and now that it was your first Christmas, you could do this for her and that was all you wanted. You wanted to do things for her, to make her happy, to show her how good her life could be. You wanted to give her a real Christmas Eve and even more importantly, a real Christmas morning. Even if it was going to be in your very small trailer.

Walkin' with you in a winter's snow
Kissin' underneath the mistletoe
People smiling everywhere we go
It's Christmas Eve and they can see we're in love

"You probably had that Christmas that is on all those cheesy Christmas movies," she giggled.

"I did," you smile, thinking of the Christmas you knew you're family was having back in New York, the large family crowded into your mom's house while it snowed outside. The house would be a little too warm and much too loud but you loved it and you really hoped that one day you'd get to share that Christmas with your girlfriend.

Of course this year you had at least given her the snow.

Or Mother Nature or whoever made it snow had given her the snow.

"Of course," she rolled her eyes. "I think I have all the branches spread out now. Are you going to help me decorate it or do I have to do that myself too?"

Ooh, you make the season bright
With the lights reflecting in your eyes
All my dreams are comin' true tonight
It's Christmas Eve and I can see we're in love

"I was making eggnog!" you protested, laughing softly as you walked toward her with her cup, kissing her quickly. "Of course I'm going to help decorate."

"Good," she nodded.

"And after we do this, I was thinking we could take a walk in the woods, enjoy the snow. Maybe make a fire outside."

"Great," she giggled. "Now I'm living in one of those Christmas specials."

"Is that a complaint?"

"Maybe."

"Well if you want we could go back to your house and sing Christmas carols with Izzie or something," you laugh, watching your girlfriend's eyes widen.

"No," she shook her head quickly. "Walk, walk and fire."

"Good," you smiled, taking the string of lights out of the bag to wrap them around the tree. She moved out of your way as you wrapped the tree with lights, silence falling between the two of you as the Christmas music you had put on earlier filled the small space. This was Christmas. She bent over, grabbing some of the ornaments out of the bag, and you had smiled at the memory of how carefully she had chosen each separate decoration like it had been as important as a life saving surgery and you thought that maybe it would be because this was your first Christmas together and that was kind of huge. This was perfect. It was simple and probably a little silly since you would spend the bulk of the next day at the home you shared but still, you couldn't help but smile that you had thought to do this, to start your own Christmas traditions, to get some of your own decorations. This was your Christmas.

"This is going really fast," she giggled, slipping an ornament on a tree branch, some bear holding a snow ball that had made her giggle.

"Well it's a small tree," you shrugged.

"Which is what happens when you buy a Christmas tree on Christmas Eve."

"Which is what happens when we're celebrating in my small trailer."

"My small trailer," she laughed, picking up the ball you had picked out that said Our First Christmas, the one she had rolled her eyes at at the store. "You gave it to me, mister."

"I did," you laughed, pushing the last of the lights into place before grabbing some ornaments from the bag at your girlfriend's feet.

It wasn't much of a tree, you knew that. You had grown up with huge trees that had nearly filled the entire living room and you had vague memories of your dad joking that they needed to be that size to fit all of the family's gifts underneath. You weren't even quite sure where you would put this tree when Mer and you built your own home because it was clearly too small to put in a living room but it might work for your master bedroom or something. But it was a good tree, it was a good tree for your tiny trailer, or Meredith's tiny trailer, and it was a really good tree to start your own Christmas with.

Besides all but one gift for each was under the much bigger tree in the home in town that Izzie had decorated.

You had no complaints about your tiny little Christmas tree.

"That's it of the decorations," Meredith breathed, as she pulled away, looking carefully at the tree. "It looks good, Der."

"It does," you agree as you pull back yourself, moving to wrap an arm around Meredith and take in the tree himself. Perfect. The tree was actually perfect. "It's amazing."

"It is," she murmured, leaning into your chest. "I love it."

"It's perfect," you breathe.

We'll stay up late tonight
Decorate the tree
Just look into my eyes
And I will tell you truthfully
That I don't need no Santa Claus
To hear my Christmas wish
I got you in my arms
And what could be a better gift
Than to spend my very favorite time of year
With the one I really love so near, Oh Yeeeaahhh

"Hmmm…" she sighs, wrapping both arms around you and turning to look out the tiny window and the snow falling outside. "It's snowing, Der. It's actually snowing in Seattle. It's like…it's our first Christmas and it's snowing."

"Which is why I want to go for a walk," you laughed softly.

"We can do that," she nodded, shifting to brush her lips against yours. "I love you, Derek."

"I love you too, Mer."

You dress quickly, pulling on the winter boots that you had both had and suddenly had been grateful for growing up on the east coast and your winter jackets. Because it was cold and snowing in Seattle which made your first Christmas together better than you had imagine it would be because walking though your woods in the snow sounded perfect.

You needed to stop considering everything perfect.

Walkin' with you in a winter's snow
Kissin' underneath the mistletoe
People smiling everywhere we go
It's Christmas Eve and they can see we're in love

"Warm enough?" you asked, as you opened the door and smiled at your girlfriend, who had a had pulled down low and a scarf pulled up high.

"I think so," she nodded.

"Good," you smiled, leading her outside and smiling the second your foot left the deck and crunched loudly on the snow covered ground. Snow in Seattle seemed like some messed up Christmas miracle, even if that sounded cheesy and you could never say it to your girlfriend. But you loved the snow, you had missed the snow and Christmas didn't feel like Christmas without snow so this was good. It was snowing and you were going to walk through your woods, with the love of your life on your first Christmas Eve together.

You were quite certain even your cynical best friend would forgive you for all the smiling you were doing right now.

You walked quietly up the path, her hand in yours and you know exactly where you're going…to the clearing where one day your house would be built. It's cold and crisper, colder and crisper than you can remember it being since the day you arrived in Seattle and you breathe deeply, torn between missing home and loving the feeling of having Meredith with you. She suddenly asked to hear more about Christmas in New York, more about how your family would be celebrating and the words spilled out easily, a large smile spread across your face as you remembered waking up before the sun and bouncing on your parents bed to wake them up so your dad could hand out the gifts, a job you had taken over when he had died. You told her about the large family dinner, the one that had probably been big enough to set some sort of record and everything else that had made Christmas so magical. And then she started talking which was something that never happened, and you kind of wanted to count it as another Christmas miracle or something. She had never had a real Christmas, not at least that she could remember. Her Christmas had involved opening gifts by herself or with a nanny and then spending the day on the couch watching the Christmas specials and wishing that she could have been an elf on Rudolph because at least they hadn't been alone.

Ooh, you make the season bright
With the lights reflecting in your eyes
All my dreams are comin' true tonight
It's Christmas Eve and I can see we're in love

When you reached the trailer again you sent her inside to make some hot cocoa, one of the few things you had managed to teach her, and grab a few blankets while you set up the fire in the tiny covered fireplace that sat on your deck. This was so far from traditional that you knew your head should have been spinning but it really did feel perfect.

"I left my jacket inside," she murmured, coming out, somehow balancing two mugs and some blankets. "I figured…you…fire and you and blankets, I didn't need a jacket."

"I'll take mine off," you nodded, smiling as the fire caught on the slightly damp logs and slipping off the jacket.

"It looks good, Der," she breathed as you moved toward one of the chairs, grabbing a blanket and a mug from her. "Very Christmasy."

"Are you laughing at me again?"

"No," she giggled. "No, this is…this is like I'm finally one of the elves on Rudolph or something."

"You do kind of look like an elf," you laughed, pulling her onto your lap, careful not to spill the hot cocoa as she settles onto you and you wrapped a blanket around the two of you, draping the other one above. "A very cute elf."

"I'm going to take that as a compliment," she nodded firmly. "Der?"

"Hmmm?" you breathed.

"Can we open the gifts we brought?"

"Mer, it's Christmas Eve, not Christmas day," you grinned down at your girlfriend.

"I know that," she grinned, her eyes sparkling. "But some families open gifts on Christmas Eve, don't they? I mean…they do on the Christmas specials at least."

"They do," you nodded. "But the Shepherd family doesn't."

"This chapter of the Shepherd family could."

"Nice try, Mer. But you're going to have to wait."

"Fine," she grumbled, shifting to rest her head against your chest, burying herself deeper into the blankets.

And the bells are ringing when I hear you say
We'll do it all again on Christmas Day
I can't wait

"I love you."

"I love you too," she breathed. "Der?"

"Yeah?"

"On the risk of sounding completely cheesy and I'm not…you're the cheesy one, you're definitely the cheesy one in this situation but on the risk of sounding cheesy and stupid and something and you really really can't laugh because I'd kill you and that would be…bad. But…I think…this is my best Christmas ever."

"Oh…" you breathed, pausing for a second to take in the snow covered world around you, the fire roaring right at your feet and your completely imperfect but perfect girlfriend snuggled onto your lap. "Yeah, I think it's mine too."

Ooh, you make the season bright
With the lights reflecting in your eyes
All my dreams are comin' true tonight
It's Christmas Eve and I can see we're in love