Disclaimer: I don't own Buffy, or 'Rugrats'
The next day, a Mini-Van, driven by Hank, carried the Scoobies and their families along the winding mountain road to their cabin, with the adults singing Carols as they went.
"Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way! Oh what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh!"
Before long, the van pulled up outside the Cabin, and everyone piled out. The Scoobies were left inside, under the care of Giles, while the other adults unpacked the luggage.
Xander and Anya sat playing together innocently, when Cordy pounced on them.
"Hiya, Xander, Hiya Anya" she grinned, slinging an arm around each of their shoulders.
"What did we do?" Anya yelped.
"Whatever it is, we're sorry!" Xander cried.
"You didn't do anything!" said Cordelia quickly. "I just thought I could do you two a favor."
"What kind of favor?" asked Xander suspiciously.
"There you two are!" Jessica chuckled, scooping Xander and Anya into her arms, before heading back outside. "Anya, your Daddy's letting me take you with Xander and me to cut down you kids' first Christmas tree!"
"Rats!" Cordy scowled.
"Are you sure you want to catch Santa, Buffy?" asked Willow nervously, sitting with her two best friends at Giles' feet.
"Yeah, m-maybe'll just l-leave us alone" said Tara.
"Don't worry, he's nice" said Buffy, rolling her eyes. "Now come on, we've gotta check a whole lot of places to set Santa traps."
And so, they set of through the house.
"Doggie door?" asked Buffy as they passed.
"Check" said Willow with a nod.
"Diney room windows?"
"Ch-Check" Tara stuttered.
"Chimley?" cried Willow and Tara in disbelief.
"Yeah, I guess you're right" Buffy agreed as they continued onwards. "No-one in their right mind would try to come down a chimley.."
In the kitchen, the adults were starting to prepare Christmas dinner for the following day, and some to be eaten that night. Cordelia's Mother Candice multi-tasked, stirring a pot while also talking to her assistant on her cellphone.
"Listen up Robert, I am tired of these endless justifications!"
Cordy dashed in, tugging on Candice's skirt.
"Mommy, can I go chop down a tree with Aunt Joyce?"
"Of course honey, have fun!" Candice smiled sweetly before returning to her conversation. "Now Robert.." She was again interrupted when Hank approached with a pile of ingredients.
"Candice, it's so nice that you could finally get away from work to spend the holidays with us" he smiled.
"Well, it is Christmas, the season of love and joy... I don't care Robert, we have to crush the competition, and crush them now!"
"I've got the axe!" Jessica announced, setting said axe by the door.
"And I've got the permit" Joyce smiled. "Now we just have to get the kids into their winter outfits and we'll be ready to go!"
"As soon as we get on the sled, we'll be able to talk" Cordy whispered to Xander and Anya.
The duo glanced at each other nervously.
Unfortunately, they didn't get to talk on the sled, because Cordelia's mouth was muffled by the oversized scarf that Joyce had made her wear. Joyce and Jessica pulled the sled to a stop among the field of pine trees atop a large, snowy hill.
"How about this one?" asked Jessica, pointing to the first tree.
"No, too small" said Joyce.
"How about that one?" Jessica pointed at another.
"No" Joyce repeated after she had examined it. "Not enough branches in the back."
"Come on, Joyce" said Jessica, annoyed. She knew her friend was a perfectionist, and this could take forever if she let her be too picky. "A tree's a tree, just pick one."
Joyce looked around, eyes lighting up as they fell on an admittedly fine-looking tree.
"Look at this one! That's it! It's exactly the right size, the perfect shape! Isn't it cute?"
"Good choice, Joyce" Jessica smiled, raising the axe. "Now stand back."
"What are you doing?" Joyce cried.
"What do you think I'm doing?" Jessica frowned. "I'm going to cut it down."
"Oh no you don't!" cried Joyce, stepping protectively in front of it. "Not this tree!"
Jessica lowered the axe, sighing.
While the two adults searched for a tree that wasn't too perfect to cut down, Xander and Anya played in the snow nearby. Cordelia, sitting on the sled, seized her chance.
"Can I talk to you guys for a second?"
"Sure" said Xander.
"About what?" said Anya warily.
"Presents" Cordelia grinned.
Xander and Anya looked confused. Cordy continued anyway.
"See, it all started when the first present was given by the pilgrims a long long time ago. Since then, everybody started giving presents. Even the Easter Bunny was giving them until Santa slapped him with a lawsuit." She stood up on the sled's edge. "So, what I'm trying to say is.." Unfortunately for Cordy, the change in weight due to her standing sent the sled sliding backwards down the hill, and the now screaming three-year old flying into a snow drift at the bottom.
"Are you okay, Cordelia?" Anya called.
Cordy dug her way out of the snow, scowling.
Joyce and Jessica had been unable to choose a tree, so they had gone into town to pick up an artificial one, which Jessica and Hank were now unpacking.
Giles was nailing everybody's stocking's to the fire place. He accidently missed and hammered his thumb, yelping.
Buffy, Willow, and Tara, beginning to set their Santa traps, set a yule log in front of the doggie door.
Jessica, Ira, and most of the other adults started decorating the tree.
Xander tried to eat the string of popcorn that was supposed to go on the tree. Cordelia walked up to try and talk to him, but Jessica picked him up and carried him away. Cordy pouted.
Buffy tied one end of another popcorn string around a door handle, while Willow tied the other end around a chair leg.
Cordelia turned her attention to Anya, until D'Hoffryn took her away too. Cordelia groaned in frustration.
"Dinner!" Joyce called, poking her head out from the kitchen
The families sat at a long dining table, eating an array of Christmas-y food.
"Do you think those traps will work, Buffy?" asked Willow, sitting ona booster seat between Tara and Buffy at the end of the table.
"Willow, you worry too much" Buffy giggled.
Giles was having some difficulties eating due to his bandaged thumb. Oz nudged his leg under the table. Giles tried to shoo him, and the dog whimpered. Giles sighed, then offered the dog a small piece of turkey. It was Christmas, after all.
Candice was still on the phone.
"Tell them to remove paragraph 3 and replace it with a Santa Clause.. I mean a SANITY clause."
"Aunt Joyce" said Cordelia nervously, "'Spose a kid tried to make up for something bad they did, but they couldn't fix it. Would Santa still bring them a lump of coal?"
"Oh Cordelia, you're such a good little girl" Joyce laughed. "I don't know why you have so many questions about bad children."
At the end of the table, Buffy, Willow, and Tara yawned.
"Aww, look at that" Hank smiled.
"Time to put the young'uns to bed" said Jessica, standing up.
"Oh no!" Cordy gasped.
The sleepy Scoobies were placed in their crib, and soon drifted off into the land of dreams.. Well, most of them.
Buffy cracked one eye open to look around, sitting up when the coast was clear.
"Willow, Tara" she whispered, shaking her friends slightly.
The drowsy two year olds reluctantly sat up.
"Must st-stay awake.." Tara stuttered sleepily.
"Must stay awake.." Willow echoed. A few seconds later, both were drifting off again.
"Willow! Tara!" Buffy yelled.
"What?" They yelped, startling awake.
"W-What is it?" Tara cried.
"Is Santa here?" Willow panicked.
"No, you almost falled asleep.." Buffy paused, glancing over at her other friends, who were currently dead to the world. "Oh no, Xander and Anya are asleep! I guess it's just gonna be.." She heard some soft snoring. "Guys?" she turned to find Willow and Tara fast asleep. "Well, um, I guess it's just gonna be me." Buffy sat for a few minutes, then laid back on her pillow as her eyelids began to droop. "Maybe I'll just make myself comfy while I wait.."
"Joy to the world, the Lord has come! Let Earth receive their King!" The adults sang.
Except for Candice, who was still on the phone.
"Listen, one thing I've learned in life is to be a self-starter. Everything I am today, I've made myself!"
As the other adults continued to sing, Ira crept away, chuckling.
Cordelia walked by with Harmony, looking defeated.
"Oh Harmony, why did I do it?" she asked the doll sadly. "Why did I take Xander's Angel doll? Why did I take Anya's coloring book?"
In another room, Ira admired himself in the Santa suit he had hired.
"Wait 'til they get a load of this!" he grinned. As Carl had not discussed it any more with him, Ira assumed that he had decided not to hire a professional Santa, so he had gone ahead with his own plan. But..
Carl had broken away from the group too, to make a sneaky phone call.
"Hello, is this the 'Santa Experience'? Carl Chase, just calling to confirm the Santa act I booked for tonight.. Great!"
Cordelia walked into the lounge room, where Giles had fallen asleep.
"I tried to be good, Harmony" she sighed. "I really tried.."
"The holidays can be a depressing time" said a voice from the TV.
"You said it" Cordy pouted.
"Don't let this very special time of year become a nightmare for you. Call 1800-666-YULE, and talk to someone who cares."
Cordy grinned, rushing to the phone and dialling a number.
Far away, in an evil law firm in Los Angeles, a slightly scruffy man answered the phone.
"Wolfram & Heart, Lindsey McDonald speaking."
"Hi" came Cordy's voice from the other end of the line. "May I speak to Santa Claus please?"
"Huh?" said Lindsey, confused.
"I need to talk to Santa, it's really important."
"Listen kid, I think you've got the wrong.."
"LET ME TALK TO SANTA!"
"Okay, geez!" Lindsey yelled. He paused before speaking again, voice altered slightly. "Hello, this is Santa Claus."
"Hi Santa. It's Cordelia."
"Of course, Cordelia" said Lindsey, trying to keep the sarcasm out of his voice.
"I just wanted to check if I was on the good list or the bad list this year."
"Okay let me just check with one of my elves.." Lindsey paused, smirking. "Oh yes, you're on the BAD list."
Cordy's face fell as she hung up.
"It's over, Harmony" she said to her doll. "My future as a kid is over."
Outside, Ira had somehow found his way onto the roof, puffing towards the Chimney.
"Boy, Santa must be fit."
Hank carried a load of presents inside, but tripped on the string of popcorn that Buffy had tied up, crashing to the ground.
Upstairs, all five Scoobies startled awake.
"Willow, our traps!" Buffy cried. The kids scrambled out of there crib and rushed downstairs, but only found Hank gathering up the dropped presents.
"It was only your Dad, Buffy" said Willow, relieved. "Boy, for a minute there I was getting really scared.
"Yeah" Tara agreed. "I thought it was S-Santa. I'm g-glad it was only.." She and Willow froze when a dark figure dropped into the fireplace.
"It's him!" They yelped.
Buffy, thinking quickly, jammed the fireplace shut with a poker.
"What are we going to do, Buffy?" Willow cried. "What are we going to do?"
"Help!" the figure cried. Hank, recognising the voice as Ira's hurried to his friends rescue. Santa-Ira stumbled out, covered in soot. The Scoobies screamed, running off in all directions. "Willow!" he cried. "Willow, wait!"
Willow cowered in a corner with Tara.
"Girls, don't be scared" Ira crouched before them, removing his hat and beard and using them to wipe the soot from his face. "It's just.. me."
Willow gave a little squeal of relief, throwing herself into her Father's arms.
"That's not Santa" Xander frowned.
"It's just Willow's Dad" said Buffy.
"There is no Santa!" cried Cordelia hopefully. "I'm saved!"
There came a knock at the door, and Giles opened it to reveal..
"Santa" Giles smiled.
"Little trouble with the chimney, hmm?" Santa chuckled.
"Oh, Santa" said Carl in an overly cheerful tone. "Won't you come in?"
Santa entered, heading straight for the children.
"Merry Christmas, Buffy, Xander, Anya" he smiled, handing each of them a gift. "Isn't it past your bed time?" He chuckled before moving on. "Merry Christmas, Willow, Merry Christmas, Tara" He gave them their presents, bgefore gently ruffling their hair. "Do you two still think I'm so scary?" Willow and Tara giggled. Finally, Santa approached Cordelia, who bowed her head. "Cordelia" he smirked, handing her a rather large parcel. Cordy gasped, quickly tearing it open.
"A Deluxe Harmony Beach House with real working hot tub, sattellite dish, entertainment center and attatched garage!" she cried joyfully. "I didn't get a lump of coal!"
"Sometimes, trying to be good is as important as actually being good in the first place" said Santa Claus wisely.
Cordy nodded, smiling.
"Well, I should be going" said Santa, slinging his sack back over his shoulder and heading for the door. "There's another 900 million children on my list. See you next year!" With that, he left.
"Well, since it's almost morning anyway, why don't we all open our presents?" Joyce suggested.
Buffy got a spinning top.
Willow and Tara received matching teddy bears, although Willow's had a red tuft of fur atop it's head, while Tara's had blonde.
Xander and Anya decided to exchange their gifts to each other before opening the ones from Santa.
"Gee, thanks Anya" said Xander, face falling as he opened his gift. "An Angel Space Helmet.."
"A box of crayons.." said Anya sadly.
"What's wrong, Anya?" Xander frowned.
"I gave.." she sighed, "Never mind."
Xander's eyes widened.
"You mean you.."
"Did you trade your Angel doll just to get me these crayons?" Anya cried in realisation.
"And you traded your Coloring Book to get me the Angel Space Helmet!" Xander gasped.
"Thanks!" they cried in unison, hugging.
"Ahem" behind them, Cordelia cleared her throat, before handing them each a present.
They opened them, confused.
"My Angel doll!" said Xander happily.
"My Coloring Book!" Anya grinned.
"Thanks, Cordelia!" they cried, hugging the older girl.
"Eew, baby germs!" Cordy giggled
Buffy, Willow, and Tara played on the floor nearby.
"You know what, Buffy?" said Willow, "You were right."
"Yeah" said Tara. "Santa isn't such a bad g-guy after all."
"Told ya" said Buffy proudly.
Ira and Carl were having a similar conversation.
"Carl, you were right. It was better to get a professional Santa."
"Am I ever wrong?" Carl grinned smugly. At that moment, the phone rang, and Carl answered it. "Hello, Carl Chase."
On the other end of the phoneline, wearing a robe and gathering food from a refridgerator, was a man named Ethan Rayne.
"Mr. Chase? It's Ethan Rayne, from The Santa Experience. My car skidded off the road and I won't be able to make it tonight to do the Santa thing. Can we reschedule?"
"What do you mean you can't make it?" came Carl's angry voice from the other end of the line.
Ethan rolled his eyes, hanging up and slumping in his recliner.
"I hate Christmas."
"What was that about?" Ira asked.
"The guy I hired to play Santa can't make it, he.." Carl's eyes suddenly widened.
"If your guy couldn't make it, then who was that?" said Ira, confused.
Sleigh bells rang in the distance.
Cordelia was happily playing with her new Harmony Beach House.
"What a cool house!" she grinned. "I wonder if there's a car in the attatched garage. She opened it, and gasped at what she found inside.
"Cordelia" said Joyce, puzzled. "Is that a lump of coal?"
Outside, Santa and his reindeer flew over the roof of the cabin.
"Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas!"
AN: Sorry this is so late. I was sick in the week leading up to Christmas, and my family hosted Christmas lunch and an NYE party, so I haven't had a lot of time.