MEMO:

TO: Captain James T. Kirk
Commander, USS Enterprise
FROM: Commander Spock
First Officer and Chief Science Officer, USS Enterprise
RE: Mid-winter festivals and the celebration thereof?

Captain,

One could not fail to notice that within the last two shifts an evergreen tree of enormous proportions has been placed in Recreation Room 6. I hope that I am safe in presuming that you authorized said placement.

While I have no objections to make concerning the tree, I am curious as to its purpose. Am I to understand that it is a communal tree on which any interested crew member may place an appropriate item of a decorative nature?

Any elucidation you may be able to provide would be greatly appreciated.

MEMO:
TO: Commander Spock
First Office and Chief Science Officer, USS Enterprise
FROM: Captain James T. Kirk
Commander, USS Enterprise
RE: Your memo concerning mid-winter festivals and the celebration thereof, specifically the evergreen tree of enormous proportions in Rec Room 6

Commander,

As you surmised, the tree in Rec Room 6 was placed there in anticipation of the mid-winter festivities. Humans who celebrate Christmas are encouraged to put an ornament on the tree. Humans who celebrate non-Christian holidays are equally welcome to put whatever they deem appropriate (within reason/regulations of course.) We know that there are non-Humans who may wish to ignore the existence of the tree and we certainly understand their viewpoint. No one is obligated to participate in any of the festivities, parties, celebrations, etc. that generally occur at the winter solstice of Earth.

I did authorize the placement of the tree as well as the planning of a traditional Christmas party on the 25th of December. The party, obviously, is open to any who wish to come, just as no one is obligated to attend.

I trust you will advise me of any additional questions and/or concerns you may have pertaining to the decorations and/or traditions of the yuletide type. I'm personally looking forward to the Christmas party, as I know are many of the Crew. Whether or not you choose to attend is, again, solely your choice.

MEMO:
TO: Captain James T. Kirk
Commander, USS Enterprise
FROM: Commander Spock
First Office and Chief Science Officer, USS Enterprise
RE: Your memo in response to mine

Captain,

I hope that you did not interrupt my memo concerning the evergreen tree and accompanying festivities as disapproval on my part. That was not my intent. I plan to attend the party on 25 December and agree that it is a welcome celebration.

Thank you for your offer to provide additional insight into the traditions generally associated with this time of year. I do possess some knowledge already due to my Human heritage. However, I am always interested in adding to my knowledge base, including information on what is deemed a traditional Christmas.

MEMO:
TO: Commander Spock
FROM: Captain James T. Kirk
RE: I understood your memo

I didn't think you were complaining about the tree. I just wanted to make sure you knew that we weren't planning to force anyone to have a "Holly Jolly Christmas" if that's not part of their culture or belief system.

I'll be glad to give you other insights on traditional Christmas… uhm… traditions as time allows. In the meantime, let me know if there is something specific you want to…uhm… know. (Maybe Bones is right – maybe I do need to skip a shift so I can get some sleep.)

TO: Captain Kirk
FROM: Commander Spock
RE: Appearance of decorative items on the evergreen

Thank you for heeding Dr. McCoy's advice concerning the need to avail yourself of much needed sleep. The Bridge Crew and I have noticed that it has had the beneficial effect of making your comments and commands considerably more coherent and simpler to interpret.

Concerning our previous correspondences, over the past two days I have noticed that the evergreen in Recreation Room 6 has been adorned with various items of a seemingly random nature. Could I prevail upon you to enlighten me as to why the following items have been placed on the tree?
A miniature nesting doll – presumably from Ensign Chekov as it appears Russian in origin
A set of hand-carved animals, including a zebra, giraffe, gazelle, and antelope
An empty hypospray (which I am guessing was placed there by Dr. McCoy)
A replica katana
A set of child sized tools

Thank you for any insight you may be able to provide.

TO: Spock
FROM: Jim Kirk
RE: Christmas decorations

I knew I had been running on empty, so to speak. That last mission on Hrazzarh was hard on us all. At least we all survived to be exhausted by it. I'm glad the extra sleep has made me more coherent. (Although I'm pretty sure Nyota would claim I'm never entirely coherent but, you know, she says it out of love. I think.)

Yes, you are right. The nesting dolls are from Chekov. It's customary to place an item on the tree that speaks of your home, your traditions, or comes from your heart. The dolls remind Chekov of home.

Likewise, the animals were placed there by Uhura. They are all native to Africa and make her feel a little less homesick when she sees them.

I'm sure Bones did put the hypospray on the tree. It's his idea of a joke. Not a particularly funny one, but one all the same. I also saw a handmade ornament I'm pretty sure Joanna sent him last year for our tree at the Academy. He said it's a peach but I don't see it. I guess you have to look at it with a father's loving eyes to recognize it.

The miniature katana is Sulu's. He told me he's hoping Santa will replace it with a new one since his got broken on Hrazzarh. (And if you'd remind him when you get a chance that it wasn't my fault it broke, I'd really appreciate it!) And the tools are courtesy of Scotty. Because, well, he's Scotty. I said he was not allowed to use an empty bottle as his decoration and he decided not to go with fake sandwiches.

There are other decorations that remind the crew of home. Most of them are labeled as to who placed them on the tree. I'm sure the appropriate crewmember would be glad to explain why they chose that particular ornament.

Hope this helps.

TO: Captain Kirk
FROM: Spock
RE: Christmas decorations

Thank you. Your explanation was extremely insightful. I can understand why a crewmember would place an item of sentimental value on the tree.

I am curious about one item which appeared yesterday on the tree. Perhaps you have seen it? It is quite exquisite in its craftsmanship. It is a sphere, one half of which is painted to represent Earth. The other half represents Vulcan. There is no identifying information attached to it. Might you know who placed it there so that I may compliment them on the artistry of the ornament?

As a side note, I do not believe it is within your prerogative to request that I lie to Lt. Sulu concerning the circumstances under which his katana was destroyed. I have no intentions of volunteering the information but should he ask, it is only reasonable that I inform him of the truth. I hope that you understand my hesitancy to engage in active prevarication.

TO: Spock
FROM: Jim
RE: Mysterious ornament

I did see it. It is beautiful. I'll ask around and see if I can find out who hung it on the tree.

And you don't have to lieto Sulu. Avoid the truth if at all possible. That's all I'm asking.

TO: Jim
FROM: Spock
RE: Mysterious ornament

Thank you for your willingness to discover who placed the sphere on the tree. If possible, I would like to acquire several for myself.

Should Lt. Sulu ask about the circumstances concerning the destruction of his katana, I will suggest he address his inquiries to you.

TO: Spock
FROM: Jim

No luck so far on the ornament. I'll keep trying.

Do you have time to come play chess tonight? 19:00?

Sulu asked me about his katana. I might have prevaricated. A little. Maybe.

TO: Jim
FROM: Spock

Thank you again for the challenging and entertaining chess matches last evening. I see that I will learn a great deal from future matches with you.

Are you available to dine with me tonight at 18:00? I would like to host you in my quarters if that is convenient.

I am relieved that whatever form of the truth you provided to Lt. Sulu did not result in injury to your person. He has not asked me and I hope that he remains uninformed of any involvement I may have inadvertently had in the destruction of his sword.

TO: Spock
FROM: Jim

Hikaru did threaten to run me through. He was joking. I'm pretty sure. I promised I would replace his katana. I think the matter is now closed especially since I swore I would never again borrow it without permission. You know, once it's been replaced. And, no, I don't have any plans to tell him that I broke it to save you from being somebody's lunch. That secret is safe with us.

Thanks for dinner last night. It was delicious. Who knew plomeek soup could be so tasty? Big difference between real and replicated, let me tell you. Although you probably already knew that. Anyway, thanks again.

TO: Jim
FROM: Spock

Have you been able to determine the identity of the crewmember who placed the Earth/Vulcan sphere on the tree? As Christmas is in only 2 Earth days, I would regret having it disappear before I had the opportunity to discuss its origins with the person who placed it on the tree.

Perhaps you can update me on the pursuit of his/her identity tonight while we play chess.

When you determine where you can order a new katana for Sulu, please let me know. I will pay for half of the replacement cost. You did destroy it on my behalf.

TO: Spock
FROM: Jim

Yes to chess. Come to my quarters at 18:30. I have to talk to the admirals before then. Oh joy.

No to finding out more. I'll keep hunting.

Don't worry about paying for half the katana. I got a good deal from the man who made Sulu's original one. Something about his son being at the Academy at the same time I was? I don't know exactly. But the good news for both us (especially me) is that the new katana should be here by New Year's Day.

TO: Jim
FROM: Spock

I will be at your quarters at 19:00. There are a few matters which I must see to before we engage in our chess match. I trust that this change in time will not inconvenience you.

Lt. Sulu has not mentioned the destroyed katana and I believe he considers the matter closed. I find this to be the most acceptable outcome for you and me.

TO: Spock
FROM: Jim

I'll come by your quarters at 16:45 so we can go to the party together. Remember, informal dress. No uniforms, even for Command Crew.

I'm sure we'll find out who hung the mystery ornament at the party. I can order the responsible person to announce him/herself if it comes to it.

And Bones told me I had to remind you that I can only have one glass of eggnog. More than that and I'll be spending tomorrow in sickbay. No thanks.

TO: Jim
FROM: Spock

Dr. McCoy also reminded me of the one-glass limit to the eggnog. I will be vigilant.

I will be wearing leisure attire, as per your directive.

I look forward to your arrival at 16:45 and the festivities which are to follow.

TO: My Spock
FROM: Your Jim

Good morning.

I know you just left my quarters and this makes me a sap. But I don't care. Let me assure you, again, that it was not the eggnog talking. I am in love with you. Have been since… well, forever, apparently. Because I can't recall a time when I didn't. Love you. Except for that whole choking thing on the Bridge. Not that I didn't deserve it. But that's water under the bridge – a wooden one that spans a flowing tributary of water, not like the Bridge on our ship. Yeah – apparently Bones is right. Love makes me stupid. And I couldn't be happier about it.

I guess I shouldn't have lied to you about the ornament. I just wasn't sure what your response would be. And we can put the rest of them on our own tree next year. Plus anything else you want to put on it.

I'll see you on the Bridge in twenty minutes. I will try to keep the huge, goofy smile off my face. No promises though.

TO: My T'hy'la
FROM: Your Spock

Love,

I don't mind that you didn't tell me that you had placed the Earth/Vulcan ornament on the tree. Discovering the truth the way in which I did was even more rewarding. I would not have predicted it was of sufficient circumference to contain your heart. I was clearly mistaken.

"Our tree." Those are lovely words. Not as lovely or cherished as "I love you." Thank you for giving me the only gift I would have requested – knowing that the love and desire I feel for you is reciprocated and returned. We will, indeed, have a very happy New Year.

I will be on the Bridge very shortly. Perhaps there will be a trace of a smile on my mouth as well. As it will belong solely to you, I trust you will not inform anyone should you notice it. Because as un-Vulcan as it sounds, I do love you. And always will.