Author's Note: Can I even say how psyched I am that there's a VL section on here?!


Olli retrieved the dropped bag of gumdrops and Annaliese clapped awkwardly. He held one of his daughter's hands and guided the bag into it, making sure her little fingers had grasped it before letting go. The blonde girl gave him a toothy little smile and a wordless cry of happiness before slapping a gumdrop haphazardly onto the roof of her gingerbread house.

Olli sighed as he surveyed the project. The quaint cottage he'd constructed had been all but demolished by Annaliese's decorating and now looked like an igloo of frosting splattered with sprinkles, chocolate pieces, chocolate syrup and gumdrops.

Christian came up beside him and laughed when he saw the gingerbread house. "I think your aunt Judith would be proud, Anna," he smiled at their little girl. She giggled in response, ignoring the frosting that she smeared across the table, then held up her arms to get down from her high-chair. Christian lifted her out, making an exaggerated noise of effort, and set her down. Annaliese walked haltingly toward her toy box, which was next to the Christmas tree.

Olli tugged his husband in by the sleeve and kissed him gently as they watched their daughter play beneath the tree.