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<< Go to chapter one

The children were just running the last sheet of foil through the shredder, when the door opened and Harriman entered.

"What are you doing in here?" He demanded. "Why have you emptied all the shredded paper out on the floor?"

The children all turned to look at him, with guilty expressions on their faces.

"We're making tinsel," Sam explained.

"We didn't want to get it all mixed up with paper, so we took out the paper first." Martouf continued.

"But we were totally going to clean up after ourselves, and put all the shredded paper back in the shredder!" Daniel promised.

"Or we can put it in the paper bin now," Anise said, grabbing a large armful of the stuff and carrying it over to the paper bin. Pieces of shredded paper fell all over the place, and when she tried stuffing it into the wastebasket, only some of it actually stayed in it - much of it spilled out over the sides. "Oops, sorry."

"I'll help!" Martouf ran over and began to pick up the paper strips. Every time he had picked up a few, some of them would slip from his fingers, and he had to pick them up again.

Harriman sighed deeply. "I think I better go get a broom, then we can clean this mess up together."

"Afterwards, will you unlock the door to the small rec room? We need to use the microwave..." Sam begged.

Harriman just sighed deeper. He could feel this was going to be a long day.

"You sure got a lot of stuff you wanna bring," O'Neill observed, as the children kept bringing bags and boxes over to the already fairly big mountain of luggage.

"It's just the essentials!" Sam said. "A few gifts..." she dumped an armful on the floor.

"Cookies." Lantash put down a large crate, so big that he could only just carry it.

"Candy." Daniel smiled, as he staggered into the room, carrying two large bags.

"And Christmas decorations!" Freya told them, happily, as she placed a large box on the floor.

"This is only some of it, of course," Sam said. "We'll be back with more."

"Teal'c? Is Ishta coming? And Rya'c and Kar'yn?" Daniel asked.

"No, I regret to say that they do not yet feel comfortable enough around the Tok'ra to participate in a celebration on a Tok'ra base," Teal'c said.

"Oh, no! What then? Will you go to them instead of cele-brating with us?" Lantash wanted to know.

"No, I will take part in your Christmas festivities."

"But then you will not be with your family and loved ones for Christmas!" Daniel said.

"Jaffa do not celebrate Christmas, so it is of no importance. Besides, I will go to spend part of my time off with them, after this celebration has concluded."

Daniel nodded, not looking convinced that Teal'c was not suffering in some way. He turned to O'Neill. "What about Leira and, uh, little Jack?"

"Unfortunately, they're also not feeling comfortable around Tok'ra. Sorry guys!" O'Neill said, giving Lantash and Freya apologetic looks. "I'll stay with you for a few days, then go spend some time with Leira and junior... that's Jack junior." He looked at Teal'c.

"And since Edorans also do not celebrate Christmas, it's not a problem. I understand," Sam nodded.

"Tok'ra don't celebrate Christmas either. Normally. But it's still nice to get gifts... and candy..." Lantash pointed out.

"Candy and gifts!" Sam exclaimed.

"And cookies and deco-rations!" Freya added.

"We need to go get the rest!" Lantash insisted.

O'Neill shook his head, and looked at Janet and Teal'c, as the children ran off to get more stuff. "I've got a backpack with my own things, and a couple bags with gifts - and I thought I was the one bringing a lot of stuff!"

Janet grinned. "I know. They've been busy."

"Do you have the, ah... special gift?" Teal'c asked.

"It's waiting in Hailey's lab. She's guarding it until we're leaving. I couldn't exactly wrap it up, now, could I?" O'Neill smiled, widely. "By the way. Where's Cassie?"

"She should be here in half an hour. She had some stuff she needed to take care off," Janet explained.

"Hi, kids! Hi, Jack, Teal'c... Janet, Rhiva... holy Hannah! Are you bringing everything from the whole base?" Jacob said, seeing how much they were all carrying.

"Hi, dad! Hi, Selmak!" Sam greeted.

"Hello, Jacob and Selmak," Martouf said, then continued enthusiastically. "We are bringing gifts, and candy, and cookies, and, and..."

"And decorations!" Anise squealed. "Hello, Jacob and Selmak!"

Daniel grinned widely and put down the box he was carrying. "Hi, Jacob! And Selmak!" He waved at them, before bending to pick up the box again.

"Candy and cookies? And decorations?" Jacob asked. "You know, we do have some cookies and other stuff made already. The cooks have been really nice - and very busy."

"Yeah, the kids were worried you hadn't been able to get enough. There's even more stuff than what we're carrying. Do you think you could get some people to help?" O'Neill asked, a bit sheepishly.

"Hi, Malek!" Janet said, spotting the Tok'ra walking up from behind Jacob. "It's good to see you."

"Hello, Janet. We have missed you and Rhiva." He smiled at her, looking very pleased to see her.

Janet smiled at him, then her smile suddenly widened, and become somewhat mischievous. "Rhiva suggests that we do this!" She threw her arms around Malek, and pulled him in for a hug, and then a kiss, before letting go.

Malek looked at her, surprised, then smiled again. "I believe this will be a very good, ah, Christmas."

"So do I." Janet grinned at his reaction. She turned to look at the others, who were staring at them, expressions of surprise, but happiness, on their faces. "Can't a girl say a decent hello to a friend?" She laughed. "So, are you coming, guys?"

With the help of several Tok'ra, they had finally managed to get their luggage, as well as all the gifts, ornaments, and goodies transported down into the Tok'ra tunnels.

"Where do you have the tree?" Daniel asked.

"The Christmas tree!" Sam elaborated quickly.

"I know what tree you mean!" Jacob rolled his eyes. "And don't worry, I have managed to get one. A nice one, even. I'm sure you'll like it. Since this is a very small base, we've grown a party room just to celebrate in, and the tree is in there."

"That's awesome!" Daniel exclaimed.

"Can we go see it immediately?" Martouf pleaded.

Jacob shrugged, secretly happy with the children's enthusiasm. "Why not?"

"Have you decorated it?" Anise wanted to know.

"Well, yes... somewhat. Aldwin got some candles, and he and Garshaw made holders for them out of wire, so the tree has lights, at least."

Sam nodded. "That's good. What about a star?"

"Not sure... ah, probably not," Jacob admitted.

"We need one!" Daniel insisted, as they walked into the room. "You can't have a Christmas tree without a shining star at the top!"

"I can have one grown from crystals, but it will take longer if it needs to be able to light up," Aldwin said, hearing what they were discussing.

"A crystal star would be great!" Sam smiled happily.

"Yeah, and it's not supposed to light up, so that's a great idea!" Jacob agreed.

"The tree is fine, but there's no ornaments on it except for the candles!" Daniel complained.

"And no decorations in the room, anywhere!" Sam said. "It's Christmas tomorrow!"

"We usually decorate with flowers and leaves if it's a big celebration," Martouf explained. "I would assume someone will do that."

"Flowers!" Daniel snorted. "It's not a spring ball! It's a good thing we've got a lot of ornaments!"

"Yes, we need to start decorating!" Sam insisted.

"Don't you want some lunch first?" Jacob grinned at their enthusiasm. "The cook has made your favourite sandwiches!"

"Really?" Sam asked.

"That's very nice of him!" Daniel exclaimed, his eyes shining.

"Lunch first, then!" Martouf said, and the other children agreed.

"Wow! It looks so pretty!" Sam exclaimed, looking at the room, that was now decorated with not only the ornaments the children had brought, but also garlands made of flowers and leaves.

It might be a little nontraditional as Christmas decorations went, but it actually looked good. The Christmas tree stood in the middle, decked out with candles, and the garlands and other ornaments the children had made. At the top sat a very beautiful crystal star, which Aldwin had made the day before.

"It is very beautiful," Martouf agreed.

"Especially the garlands we made," Daniel insisted. "But also the other stuff."

"And the tinsel," Anise added. "I like that very much."

"Ho, ho, ho, are there any nice children in here?" Jacob said, as he entered the room, dressed in a Santa costume and carrying a large sack of presents.

"I think they're all nice, don't you?" O'Neill asked. "Well, most of the time, anyway..." He grinned.

O'Neill, Janet, Teal'c, Cassandra, and Malek also wore Santa hats, but not the rest of the costume. They were pretending to be Santa's elves.

"I'm sure they are. Why don't you give them your gift immediately?" Janet said.

"What is it?" Daniel asked, eagerly.

O'Neill had been standing in the doorway, but now he turned to talk to someone just outside, who handed him something - something that made small sounds.

"Here you go!"

"A puppy!" Martouf exclaimed, happily, giving Lantash control.

"I've wanted one for so long!"

"Yes!" Sam said, smiling.

"It's for all of us, right?" Daniel asked.

"Can I pet it?" Anise wondered.

"Of course... and yes, it's for all of you. It's like I told Cassie - we have a rule on Earth. Every kid has got to have a dog... though in this case you get to share her." O'Neill smiled, and behind him, Cassandra grinned, remembering when he had given her a dog, years ago.

"She is adorable!" Lantash said, looking very happy.

"What's her name?" Sam wondered, not taking her eyes off the dog.

"You get to name her... try to agree on something nice," O'Neill told them, as he put the puppy down on the floor. It walked over to the nearest child - which was Anise - and sniffed her.

"Nefertari, perhaps?" Anise suggested. "It means 'most beautiful' in Goa'uld." She kneeled beside the dog, and petted it carefully. It licked her hand.

"She's from Earth, she shouldn't have a Goa'uld name, I think," Lantash said, also kneeling down beside the dog and gently ruffling its fur. It made small, satisfied sounds.

"Bonnie, then? It's a fairly common dog's name, and it means beautiful in Scottish - well, I think it does," Daniel suggested, studying the dog.

Sam shrugged. "Fine with me." She stroked the fur on the back of the dog.

Lantash thought it over, and discussed it with Martouf. "We both agree 'Bonnie' is an acceptable name."

"Hi, Bonnie!" Anise said, giving the dog a hug. "Do you like your new name?"

"I think she does." Janet smiled.

It was a long time before the children had time to focus much on their other gifts, though eventually they happily unwrapped those as well - and their new pet gleefully assisted them in tearing up the paper and spreading it all over the room!

It was a wonderful Christmas for them all!


A/N: The children's dog are named for the cute and fun dog Bonnie I played with as a child.

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