Dean loved Christmas. Christmas meant presents and pretty music and Mommy and Daddy putting Santas and snowmen all over the house. And all of that was pretty great, but his favorite thing had to be the Christmas tree.
Daddy always bought a fresh one every year, and he always let Dean help him pick it. Dean was proud of this year, especially. The minute he saw it he knew it was meant for them; big and fluffy and so green. Green like his eyes, Mommy had said when they brought it home, and he had liked that.
So big and fluffy Daddy had trouble getting it in the door, but Mr. Bates next door came to help them and they made it. So big and fluffy it took three whole days to decorate, Mommy stringing every branch with lights perfectly, Daddy picking him up to put ornaments on and finally the star on top, which was the best part of all.
And even today, Christmas day, when he had been finally allowed to unwrap his gifts, (the toy soldiers and the Hess trucks were the best ones, hands down), he still thought the best part was lying under the tree, staring upward through the branches at all the twinkling lights and ornaments, imagining them like a miniature city. The starship Enterprise zipping over to have a chat with the singing angels, the red cardinal leaving his nest in the care of the snowman in order to visit the train.
"What're you doing sweetie?" Mommy asked, kneeling down on the floor and peering under the tree at him, smiling so sweet like she always did, "Looking for extra presents?"
"Are there?!" Dean exclaimed, eyes wide and bumping his head on a shiny Christmas ball when he scrambled around to look.
Mommy laughed, slid her hands under the tree to pull him out, tickling as she went and Dean squealed, squirming around delightedly.
"No, silly, you got them all!" she teased, scooping him up into her lap and hugging him close. Dean giggled, wrapped his arms around his mother's neck warmly.
"Are you happy with your presents, Deany-beanie?" she asked him, kissing his cheek and he nodded, pulling back to look at them all again, thinking excitedly for all the plans he had for his new toys, "Did you get everything you wanted?"
The smile faded from Dean's face a little, and Mommy saw, frowned and rubbed his back, like she always did when he was upset.
"What, honey?" she said gently, and Dean looked away, biting his lip anxiously. He loved his presents, he really did, but there was one thing he had asked for...
"Santa didn't bring me a little brother or sister," he confessed quietly, "I really want one, and I promised Santa I would be extra good and teach them how to do cool stuff and share all my new toys with them."
Dean looked up, expecting Mommy to be sad, or mad, or disappointed, but she wasn't. Instead, she was smiling at him and petting his hair, like she always did when she told him something happy.
"Well," she started, "I don't think Santa can give out little brothers and sisters."
"Why not?" Dean sighed.
"Because that's a mommy and a daddy's job," she explained, "And guess what Dean?"
"What?" Dean said hopefully, watching Mommy intently, knowing she was about to say something Important, and he should listen real close.
"You're going to get that little brother or sister you want, sweetie."
"Really?! Where are they?!" Dean exclaimed, dove back under the tree to look, "I don't see them!"
Mommy laughed, pulled him out again and tickled him, throwing kisses in for good measure to have Dean laughing.
"Well, they won't be under the tree," she laughed, "Babies need to grow in their mommy's tummies, and that takes a long time."
"They do?" Dean said, wide-eyed.
"Yep," she answered, "I have a baby in my tummy now, but they're too small to be outside yet. But that baby is your little brother or sister, Dean, and you'll get to meet them in a few months, when they're big and strong enough to be outside."
"Really?!" Dean breathed, practically vibrating with excitement, and Mommy smiled, cupped his cheek sweetly.
Dean was pretty sure, in that moment, that this was the best Christmas he was ever going to have.