Watching the Grinch carve into the roast beast, Faith wiped away tears. It's not like I've ever had a real Christmas, she thought. Why the big boo-who this year? Pushing aside the cheap motel curtains, she gazed out over the parking lot. She couldn't see much greenery, other than a few palm trees that somebody had covered in Christmas lights, but her room was hot enough, even with the AC going, that she knew it was a scorcher outside. My first Christmas without snow, she thought pulling away from the window.

Why the hell do I suddenly want to call Mom? I'm not even sure she'd accept the charges. Sitting back on the bed, she pulled her legs up to her chest. I don't want to be alone. Damn, where the hell did that come from? Rising, she started pacing the room. "It's not like I can even go to that party I told Buffy about." She stopped. Buffy. Buffy had invited her over. "No." She leaned down and punched the mattress. "No way am I spending Christmas watching Buffy's oh so perfect life."

Throwing herself back down, she turned on the tv. It's a Wonderful Life was playing. Turning that crap off, she threw the remote down in disgust. Gazing around at her fleabag of a room, she thought about accepting Buffy's invite. "Can't be worse than this." She wondered if she'd be welcome. "Not going empty handed though. If I'm gonna do this, I'm gonna do it right. The whole holiday spirit and all that shit."

It was Christmas day, and late in the afternoon at that. Figuring that drug store down the street would be the only thing open, Faith headed over to browse the aisles. She'd picked up some wrapping paper, not much caring what it looked like, and had stuffed tape into her pocket, when one of the clerks came out from behind his register and started following her. Busted, she thought as she grabbed at a passing shelf and raced for the door. Slayer speed held her in good stead and she'd soon lost her pursuer.

Back in her room, Faith looked over what she'd grabbed. The snow globe, with its ice skaters and frozen lake in an appropriately cold looking scene, reminded her of home, specifically of the one Christmas she's spent with Aunt Connie's family, out in the country, while Mom had been locked up in detox. They'd even gone ice skating, not at a lake but at a rink, and Faith had fallen flat on her ass, laughing as she'd picked herself up to try again.

The other gift was the one Faith couldn't keep her hands off of though – Snoopy in a Santa hat. It reminded her of the dog she'd never gotten to have.

Wondering if Buffy would let her in, much less make her welcome, Faith thought about staying home and keeping the gifts, but really they were just things, and it wasn't like they could make her room into a home.