The Doctor disdains Christmas (and indeed, anything that doesn't allow him to take a leading role), but Susan is enthusiastic about the idea, enough to convince him. He lets her put it all together, down to festooning the console with ribbons, but he puts his foot down when she suggests a tree.

"There will be nothing living in my TARDIS but her, you, and me!" he says, and that is that.

He sometimes wonders if she led Ian and Barbara to the TARDIS on purpose, just to prove him wrong.


The next time, it's everyone but him who's not so interested. Victoria cannot face Christmas without her father, and Jamie doesn't really understand what all the fuss is about--to him, it's about religion, not an occasion for gifts. Celebration is too strong a word, and he reluctantly gives up the idea of presents and goose.

He does get Jamie to try eggnog, though. The look on his face is present enough.


The Cybermen invade on Christmas Eve. UNIT is not amused.


Romana is experimental enough by now to try Christmas. She can't understand 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, though.

"A saint who comes down the chimney dressed in red to deliever presents or coal?" she asks, her tone of voice clear enough. "That's completely illogical. What child of any species would believe that?"

"Most of them," the Doctor says, and takes cheerful pleasure in labelling all his gifts to her "from Santa."


Nyssa doesn't understand, Aderic thinks it's all silly and childish, and Tegan starts a fight over how to properly drape tinsel over trees. All in all, the Doctor thinks happily, dodging a flying ornament, it's the best Christmas he's had yet.


He can't be having with Christmas, he protests. It's beneath his dignity as a Time Lord. It's ridiculous and foolish and he will not have it.

Evelyn smiles indulgently, says something that boils down to "yes, dear," bakes him a cake anyway, and doesn't comment beyond another smile when he deposits a wrapped package on her chair with a fierce scowl.


"I've seen weird things," Hex announces, standing barefoot in his pajamas in the TARDIS control room. "A ship bigger on the inside, weird bloody alien things eating people, giant metal Cybermen, you name it, I've seen it. But this is the weirdest."

Ace sniggers. The Doctor looks up and blinks innocently. "You've never seen a Christmas tree before?"

"I've never seen a Christmas tree with the lights in a fractal pattern!"


Fitz got psychadelic lights somewhere. The Doctor doesn't even want to know.

Though they are rather cool.


All he can see is Susan's eager face, all he can hear is Romana trying to analyze it logically, all he can smell is burning pine needles when Leela accidentally set the tree on fire; all he can remember is other Time Lords shaking their heads, asking why he celebrates such a silly human holiday, irrelevant in the greater meaning of things...

He can't do it this year. He just can't.


One ornament for everyone who's ever been with him.

Susan, his granddaughter, so bright and sweet and clever, is a cut-out paper angel with glitter on the wings. The smile is just the same. He puts her at the top of the tree.

Ian and Barbara, an apple for the teacher. Jamie, a round little Santa dressed in plaid. Liz, Jo and Sarah Jane, a thoroughly tacky Charlie's Angels ornament that they would hate him for if they ever found out. They'll never find out. Anyway, UNIT started that nickname, not him.

He hesitates, then resolutely hangs Romana's twin ornaments on the tree, close together: a peacock and a fairy, two ornaments, two faces, two hearts, he remembers. It hurts, but he will remember.

Adric, a medal shaped like a star, blue and gold enamaling. He remembers him too. He remembers them all.

Evelyn's Elizabethan lady keeps company with Mel's Christmas-themed computer and Peri's bikinied Bond girl. Ace's crystal-enclosed gun, Hex's Santa in scrubs, Grace's opera, Fitz's psychadelic lights. A rose for Rose, of course; James Bond for Jack. A candle for Martha, his lone bright light after everything. And his newest ornament; a star, bright red-gold. For Donna, who could not remember, who shines brightly all the same.

The Time Lords used to ask him why he bothered. He steps back, admires his tree.

Because Christmas is for family, he'd reply. Because Christmas is for family.