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Christmas/advent calendar 2012 - Day 23

The cookies and candy had ended up being very good, and when Daniel's arms no longer hurt, he was more than happy - and very proud - of what they had all managed to do together.

They had made very large portions of candy and cookies, so there would be a lot to bring to the Tok'ra base.

"Do they have any Christmas decorations?" Sam suddenly asked Janet, looking worried.

"I don't know, but I'm going to assume Jacob will have made sure there's a Christmas tree, at least, and probably some decorations on it," Janet assured her.

"Probably?" Daniel looked horrified. "He'll probably have decorations for the tree? What if he doesn't? And what about the rest of the place?"

"We can't have Christmas with no decorations!" Sam insisted, suddenly remembering that her father had never cared much for that part.

"It is pretty." Martouf agreed. "But why is it that im-portant? We'll have gifts, candy, cookies, and deli-cious food. Isn't that more im-portant?"

"I agree, Martouf... but decorations are fun and pretty. We should bring some - just to make sure there are enough," Anise decided.

"We're leaving tomorrow morning! We need to go shopping now!" Sam exclaimed.

"Teal'c is on mission with SG-1, and I don't have time to take you shopping right now," Janet said, looking apologetic. She suddenly smiled, getting an idea. "You know what? You can make some decorations yourself! I think there's materials you can use in one of the storage closets." She checked her watch. "Let's go see... I have about 30 minutes before I have to be on duty."

They had found all they needed, to make a great many kinds of Christmas decorations, and Janet even had an old book with descriptions and patterns to follow, so the children were soon sitting around a large table, making ornaments.

They were making decorations both for hanging on the Christmas tree, and for putting up here and there in the Tok'ra tunnels.

The first type of ornaments they did, were made out of salt dough, which they rolled out fairly thin, and then cut out with pastry cutters. When the dough dried, it could be painted. The simplest way to dry it quickly, was to put it in a microwave for 2-3 minutes, but since they needed to ask for permission to use one, they just set the decorations aside until later.

"I am going to paint mine, and then I will sprinkle them with glitter! They will be so pretty!" Freya said, happily.

"Glitter... you know what we could do with that? We could put glitter on pine cones and hang them. Don't you think that would be cool?" Sam suggested.

"We have those pine cones I collected when we were out walking on the mountain with Teal'c... some weeks ago," Daniel said. "We could use those."

"Okay! Go get them, then!" Sam insisted, eagerly.

Daniel nodded. "Yes. Will someone help me carry them? I've got them in two boxes, spread out so they could dry."

"I will help you," Freya said, getting up from the table.

They left quickly, eager to get started on the project.

"How are you going to get the glitter to stick to the pine cones?" Lantash wondered.

"I'll put glue on them with a paintbrush, and then just sprinkle the glitter over them - and glue satin ribbons to the top to hang them. Janet and me did it together with Cassie, when she was little."

Lantash nodded. "That sounds like it could work."

Soon Daniel and Freya/Anise returned with the pine cones, and the children started decorating them as Sam had suggested.

The next thing they made were paper cones, for hanging on the tree.

They were a quick and easy ornament to do - all that needed doing was making a circle by cutting from scraps of gift wrapping paper, remove roughly a quarter, and then glue the remaining part of the circle together, with the ends overlapping a bit. The children then attached ribbons to hang them.

Janet had plenty of larger and smaller pieces of gift wrapping paper, which she had saved, and which were too small for wrapping anything in, but it made for colourful and diverse paper cones.

The scraps that were too small for that, Sam and Martouf cut into rectangular pieces, folded in half, and glued together around a long piece of thread. It looked like a line of flags, and could be used as a festive garland on the tree.

While Sam and Martouf/Lantash were making that, Freya/Anise and Daniel were cutting paper strips, then gluing them together as interlocking rings. That way they made a very long garland, they hoped to convince Garshaw to let them hang criss-cross along the roof in the room they were celebrating Christmas in.

"I think we have enough garlands now, don't you think?" Daniel asked, when they had worked on it for more than two hours, with only a couple short breaks.

"I agree... and I am getting hungry!" Martouf said.

"We should take a lunch-break, then," Anise agreed.

"Yes... how long is the garland?" Sam asked, stopping what she was doing.

"At least a mile... I think..." Daniel insisted.

"I do not believe so... perhaps half a mile," Anise said, eyeing the garland they had just made, skeptically.

"Let's measure it!" Martouf forgot for a moment that he was hungry, and grabbed the ruler lying on the table. "Where is the end of the garland?"

"Here." Daniel handed it to him.

Martouf started the measuring, painstakingly moving the garland along the ruler, section by section. "1... 2... 3..."

"How long is the ruler?" Anise asked.

"Don't interrupt me!" Martouf said.

"12 inches," Sam told her.

"How many times 12 inches do you need to get a mile?" Daniel wondered.

"Not sure." Sam grabbed a piece of paper and a pen, and started scribbling. "Hm... one foot is 12 inches... there's 3 feet in one yard... or is it 4 feet? Let's say 3... anyone know how many yards in a mile?"

"No." Anise shook her head.

"... 25... 26... 27..." Martouf continued counting, sending the others an irritated look for interrupting him.

"I think there's 1760 yards in a mile," Daniel said.

"Okay, then a mile is... 63300 inches!" Sam proclaimed, triumphantly.

"You need to divide it by 12," Anise reminded her.

"Why? Oh, to get how many sections of garland Martouf must measure... if there's a mile of garland. I only think there's ¼ of a mile!" Sam said, scribbling some more on the paper. "5275!"

"... 33... 34... 35..." Martouf said, counting patiently, now and then sending them annoyed looks.

Anise suddenly made a long blink, giving Freya control.

"We need something glittery to put on the Christmas tree! I just remembered... we had that last year... and the year before!"

Sam nodded slowly. "Right. Lametta tinsel. Long thin metal strands. I don't know how to make that."

"We get some tin foil from the kitchen and shred it?" Daniel suggested.

"Not a bad idea," Sam admitted. "Okay... let's go ask!"

Sam, Daniel, and Freya ran off, leaving Martouf to keep measuring up the paper-ring garland.

He glared briefly after them, then returned to his work, getting a long-suffering expression. His stomach growled.

"We got it!" Sam exclaimed, as they entered the room again. "Both thick and thin foil!"

"... 56... 57... 58..." Martouf counted out loud, trying to catch the attention of the others.

"It doesn't look like there's more than... like, the same amount of garland left... maybe even less..." Sam remarked, thoughtfully.

Martouf looked up. "Could someone please take over? This isn't funny anymore! And when are we going to get something to eat?"

Sam nodded, graciously. "I'll continue... and then we can go eat when we know how long the garland is."

"Thanks." Martouf looked relieved.

"You can help us cut the thick foil into shapes... stars, trees, bells, whatever!" Daniel said, eagerly.

"Okay," Martouf agreed. He sighed, but joined the others.

"How do we make the thin metal strands? They are so pretty!" Freya said. "We really need to do that!"

Martouf wrinkled his brow as he thought, then suddenly smiled. "Lantash suggests we use a paper shredder to shred the thin tin foil! I know where there is one!"

"Great idea!" Daniel exclaimed. "Let's go do that first!"

"Wait! I'm coming with you! I've finished counting the garland - there's 83 times 12 inches... that's 996 inches. That's... like 1% of a mile, or something!"

"But... it looks like there's so much of it! How can it only be so little?" Daniel looked unhappy.

"I think there's enough to hang it a couple times across the roof - it'll be fine," Martouf assured him.

"Come - let's go find the shredder?" Sam grabbed the foil, and they all ran off.

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