A/N – January 11th is getting closer. YAY. Can't wait for S9!

Holiday Spirit

Chapter 3 –

"Mommy? Can I write a letter to Santa Claus?" Five-year-old Brooke innocently questions as she holds up a scrunched up sheet of paper and a sharpened pencil.

Victoria snickers at such an idea and waves her hand, "Do whatever you want, Brooke." She does not want to be bothered by such childish matters.

"But mommy…" Brooke pesters. "Can't you help me write it? I want to make sure its perfect for Santa and all of the elves to get at the North Pole."

Victoria rolls her eyes. "None of that exists, dear."

Brooke looks confused and frowns. "What do you mean?"

"What do I mean?" Victoria repeats in a disgusted tone. "I mean that you need to grow up, Brooke, and stop living in some fantasy world. Santa Claus does not exist. There is no fat, jolly man in a red suit who comes into everyone's homes and leaves presents."


Victoria groans at her young daughter. "Just grow up already, will you?"

Thanksgiving had come and gone and December had now welcomed itself in Tree Hill with chillier weather and harsher winds.

Christmas spirit swarmed its way through the Baker household, and Brooke and Julian promised that when the twins got home from school this Friday, they'd all decorate the tree later that night. It was something the twins were looking forward to doing all week long.

However, today, as Brooke and Julian wait for their sons to get off the school bus, they note that one of their sons doesn't look happy at all.

Unlike Jude, who blissfully runs off the bus towards his parents, Davis trudges slowly up the driveway to the front door where their parents await.

"Hey, boys," Julian greets, and Brooke looks on to her sad-looking son.

Jude utters a "hi," but Davis doesn't even reply, and once they enter the house, he simply retreats to his and Jude's bedroom.

Brooke glances towards her husband who gives a nod, signaling he'd talk to Davis to figure out what had happened.

Jude jumps on the couch and grabs the remote to see if any good cartoon is playing.

"We're decorating the tree later, right, mommy?" He asks.

Brooke nods at the five-year-old, "You bet."

The little boy grins at his mother before divesting his interest back to the tv.

"Hey, buddy?" She asks. "Can I ask you a question…do you…do you know what happened to Davey to make him so sad?"

Jude sighs and shakes his head like he's about to reveal some really bad news. "Lydie told him that Santa Claus doesn't exist."

At this revelation, Brooke looks completely stunned and mortified. She doesn't want Christmas to be ruined for her young, innocent, precious baby boy.

"But that can't be true, mommy!" Jude continues. "He comes down our chimney and eats our cookies and drinks our milk and then leaves presents! I tried to tell Davey…he wouldn't believe me!"

"Davey, what's wrong?" Julian asks his son gently as he takes a seat next to him on the bed.

Davis just shrugs. He doesn't want to talk about it.

Julian lets out a low sigh and wraps an arm around the small boy. "You can't be sad when Christmas is almost here. And me, you, and mommy are decorating the tree tonight…" He tries to get a smile out of Davis, but the boy doesn't budge. "You know you can talk to me about all kinds of stuff, Davis."

Davis draws his eyes away from the floor and up to his dad. "Lydie told me that Santa isn't real," He sniffles and tears pool his eyes.

Julian's eyes widen, surprised that his six-year-old niece would say that to his son. "Lydia said that?"

Davis nods slowly. "At recess," he explains. "She said that Jamie told her Santa doesn't exist. That you and mommy give us the presents that we ask Santa for." They had taken a trip to visit Santa last week and each of the boys had a long list of toys to give to Santa. They have both been very good this year.

Julian pauses, unsure of what exactly to say. He didn't stop believing in Santa until he was about eight-years-old when he caught his mom late at night wrapping up presents he had put on his 'list to Santa.'

Does he tell the truth to his little five-year-old boy? He isn't too sure that Brooke would like that idea too much. She plans on keeping their boys young and jovial for as long as she can.

"You can't believe everything your cousin tells you, Davey."

"But is it true, daddy? Jude tried to tell me that Lydie was lying."

If Julian says that Lydia was lying, then he would be lying. And he hates lying to his sons.

"Wanna know what I think, Davey? I think everyone chooses whether or not they believe in Santa. Just because Lydia and Jamie don't anymore doesn't mean that he isn't real. You know, there are a lot of people in the world that Santa has to give presents to. Maybe people grow up and grow out of wanting to believe in him so those who still do, like you and Jude, can get more attention and more presents from him. What do you think about that?"

"I still think he's real," Davis agrees. "After all, we just saw him last week!"

Julian tries to suppress a laugh, "Exactly. And I'm sure Santa appreciates that you still believe in him. He needs good little boys like you and your brother to keep him in business."

When Julian and Davis emerge out of the boys' bedroom and down the stairs, Brooke looks towards Julian and gives him a questioning look. He nods with a smile to show that everything is okay now.

"You okay now, handsome?" Brooke hugs her son.

"I'm not sad anymore." He tells her and shakes his head.

"Told ya there was nothing to be sad about, Davey," Jude chimes in.

"Well now that that's over with, what do you say we get this tree decorated?"

"I wanna put the star on top!" Davis exclaims and Jude groans and throws his head back dramatically. That's the best part.

"Maybe you boys can both do it," Brooke suggests, avoiding a fight from breaking out between the twins. "Julian, why don't you go get the box of ornaments from the attic?"

"Sure. Who wants to help me?" Both of the boys' hands instantly fly up and they eagerly follow their dad up the attic stairs leaving Brooke by herself in the living room.

She glances at the bare tree that will, in a matter of hours, be nicely decorated with shiny ornaments and lights. There's always two ornaments she always looks forward to putting on the tree, and it always makes her feel so nostalgic.

"Look, Jude," Brooke says holding the three-month-old in one arm. In the other, in her hand she's holding a new ceramic ornament with special words inscribed. "'Baby's First Christmas, Jude Baker.' That's you." She pokes his tummy playfully and he giggles. "And look, your brother has the same one except his says Davis Baker." She walks over to Julian who has Davis in his arms. "Aren't they so pretty? What do you think, Davey?"

As a response, Davey just buries his face into Julian's neck, about ready to go to sleep.

"Seems like that's the only response we're gonna get, babe." Julian laughs.

Brooke feigns a sigh, "I guess I'll take it. One day they'll grow to appreciate it."

After nearly two hours of decorating the tree, it looks full and finished. Brooke insists that the twins and Julian stand in front of it so she can take a picture like she does every year. And despite all the protests, they always end up doing it, and these are pictures she'll keep for a lifetime of memories.

It isn't much later before the boys get sent off to bed and Brooke and Julian have some time to themselves.

"So I spoke to my mom," Brooke says as they enter their bedroom.

"This can't be good," Julian jokes.

Brooke playfully rolls her eyes before continuing. "She wants to see the boys for Christmas. And since she's busy in New York doing…god knows what…she suggested maybe a week before then that we go up there for a visit."

"You're subjecting our boys to spending Christmas with the Grinch?" He jokes.

"Julian," She whines and slaps his shoulder. "Come on. It's not that bad. And the boys love her."

"Oh, yes, and I love Vicki so much, too." He retorts.

"Think about how magical the city is during the holiday season. There's the tree, and ice-skating, the window displays, and shopping." Of course she has to add in that bit. "Plus, we can get my mom to watch them for a bit," She wraps her arms around him tightly. "Get some alone time…" She knows she's got him. It was never a contest.

Julian grins at her. "Well…when you put it that way...I guess we're going to New York."

A/N – Up next: Trip to New York!

Please, please, pleaseee review! :)

Happy Holidays everyone!