Christmas Light, Dreams, and Mistletoe
Rapunzel's First Christmas
By Michelle Bowen
Secret Santa for: WhyteGriffin
For the Secret Santa on "The Disney Princess Club"
Prologue: This was done for a secret Santa person. I consider her one of my best friends. We work on projects together and laugh and joke a lot. And we share our love of Rapunzel! She's helping me do things I only dreamed of! She's helping me make a dress so I can be Rapunzel whenever I want...and I've done art trades with her, and we've done contests together, and we've talked and laughed. I've told her things I haven't always shared with everyone else. She knows a lot about me and vice versa. And if it ever has to do with Rapunzel we seem to be in equal accord it's kind of fun to know we have so much in common and yet some differences. Anyways not to be mushy or anything, I am glad I got to be her Secret Santa, she said she wanted a story or a drawing. I knew that she might like one with all of the Disney girls, I tried but it sucked. This one was not that way at all. So enjoy! This is how I imagine her first Christmas goes!
Story now! Shhhhh....read oh right!
HO HO HO HO!
(that is what Santa says!)
The snow fell in a furry of flakes, that were stopped only by the glass that stood between Rapunzel and the cold winter's night. She could vaguely make out her own reflection staring back at her. As she breathed, each breath left the windows fogged, but she couldn't get enough of looking at the snow! It was Christmas eve! She'd heard about it ever since she'd left the tower, but she had never had one. She'd heard that it was magical that there was a man who came in the night and left gifts for the good people, children mostly. But she was sure that since she'd never had a Christmas Santa might just have something special for her. Even if not, the wondrous idea of a man and flying reindeer had engaged her eager imagination, and Eugene had even mentioned Elves. Though she wasn't sure what they were, short people? Somehow they had magic too!
If the idea of Santa wasn't exciting enough, in the past month the castle had become a huge and beautiful celebration of Christmas. There were boughs of Christmas tree limbs mixed with red ribbons and the most beautiful ornaments hanging along the walls and touching in the corners. In the main hall was the most magnificent and beautiful tree she had ever seen! It was coated in ornaments, some very old ones, that her mother, her real mother, had told her had belonged to her grandmother. They were reds balls and other random shapes flaked with gold, and then there were silver and blue ones as well. They were stunning and mixed with newer looking ornaments, and then there was popcorn strung up all over them, and bows of red and gold tied to the branches ends, and candles carefully placed on each of the boughs, and to top it all off at the very top of it was the most beautiful of all the ornaments a silver and gold star studded with diamonds and sapphires, and it glittered from the surrounding lights of candles, and under the massive tree was a big beautiful, skirt, as her mother called it. It was big and boldly green and red mixed together in a wonderful tapestry of Christmas style figures like trees, and candy canes, which also bedecked the tree next to the candles. She was told that under the tree is where the presents went, and she hoped her parents and Eugene would like the presents she'd found for them.
She nibbled at her lower lip as she watched the snow, would anyone find their way thru it? She didn't know if she cared because the most she'd ever really seen of snow had been out of a single window her whole life. It had just been something she'd been curious about but mostly just made her cold standing in the window. But going out in it and playing in it, making snow men with Eugene and even managing to talk her parents into a silly fun snow ball fight, it had been all the magic she'd never expected! So she had learned that she didn't mind a good snow storm, as long as the fires were warm inside and she had her family and friends, and the man she loved, that was all that mattered to her. She sighed happily and turned from the fogging window, letting the deep red velvet curtain fall back into its place. She turned and looked at the massive tree before her and smiled happily, she still couldn't believe the new life she had. Only a year ago at this time she'd been a prisoner, kept a secret and stolen from those she loved, she'd been so lost her whole life. Never knowing why Gothel had always treated her so badly, she had thought that was how a mother loved. But after seeing her real mother, and feeling what true love was, well it made her sad and angry with Gothel, for stealing her from her family.
Eugene walked in and paused as he looked at Rapunzel standing there by the window, she was resplendent in her red gown with golden details, and she wore red gloves that day, they made the whole outfit just look that much more lovely on her, she looked like a Christmas angel, he would swear it. He frowned at the look on her face. She wasn't smiling like she had been all along since the festivities of Christmas had started. She stood there looking solemn and hurt, her green eyes were focused on the massive tree but he was sure she didn't see it in that moment. She was so beautiful even when sad, though he hated to see her sad, her one long blonde hair was now cut very short around her face and brown, it framed her face well, and today she'd worn a couple of small flowers in it, her full mouth was soft in a sad frown. "Penny for your thoughts Rapunzel?" he asked her as he approached her and took her gloved hand in his. "Why so sad Blondie?" he asked her using the name he'd always used to make her smile or break her train of thought, he kissed her gloved hand. "You know you can tell me anything" he whispered to her as his eyes focused on hers.
Rapunzel sighed and shivered at the kiss on her hand, and the intimacy that look he gave her always made her aware of. "I was just...remembering that place" she whispered. "I don't want to" she admitted feeling completely guilty. "But just a year ago..I was a prisoner there" she said seriously, and leaned her forehead against his for comfort, and closed her eyes. "I'm free and I'm here with you, I don't' want to remember that time, not right now" she told him as she opened her eyes and got lost in the depths of his brown eyes, as always his brown hair feel roguishly over his eyes, and tickled her face. "I just want to be happy" she said seriously and was relieved when he wrapped his strong arms around her and pulled her into a kiss, it was gentle but passionate, and then he was hugging her close, and her head was resting on his shoulder and chest area and she could hear his beating heart.
"You are free, and soon you'll forget about her for the most part" he promised her as he held her close, he knew that she would be happier than ever tomorrow, but he would not ruin or rush his surprise. He knew what he wanted to give her this Christmas, her very first Christmas, and it wasn't anything money could by, but his heart and she would be the only woman he ever loved, and he was sure she wouldn't tell him no. She loved him, he knew it, even as nerves played and he tried to still them, he'd already spoken with Rapunzel's father, letting it remain a surprise for her and her mother. "It's time to hang up the stockings" He told her as he pulled back and squeezed her hands, "This is a year worth celebrating, I found you, and we found your family" he said seriously. "Now, let's go make this one to remember" he suggested as he pulled her around the tree and towards the huge chimney where her parents were waiting, it was clear they'd over heard some of the conversation, but chose not to speak of it.
Eve smiled happily at her daughter, "We were waiting for you" she said and grabbed her daughter in another eager hug, she could never get enough of them! That was something she was sure of, she couldn't get enough of her daughter, and though some nights she still had nightmares that she was gone again, she knew that Rapunzel was safe and that she and her husband and Eugene would make sure that Rapunzel stayed safe and happy. "Merry Christmas sweet heart" she said and handed Rapunzel a blue stocking embellished with snowflakes and sparkling beautifully, "I remembered how much you loved the snow" she told her simply and was delighted by the happiness that showed in her daughters eyes.
Rapunzel eagerly took the stocking and smiled widely at her mother as she hugged it close, and then held it out. "It's so beautiful!" she gushed happily as she looked at the stocking that had her name sewn into the top area. "Oh mom its beautiful!" she said and then hugged her mother and then her father, pulling them both close. "This is all so beautiful, so perfect" she assured them as she felt them each holding her tightly in turn. "I just never imagined anything as wonderful as Christmas" she told them with a joyful grin. "But...who created Christmas?" she asked them curiously. Had Santa Claus done it? Or was there someone else? She hadn't felt sure how to ask since everyone seemed to know so much about the holiday, she felt silly not knowing, she blushed a little. "Gothel never told me about Christmas...so this is my first" she reminded them feeling sheepish and self conscious.
Vincent wrapped an arm around his daughter and guided her to follow him to a chair, "Well then its time you hear the story" he suggested and smiled at her as he pulled her into his lap like she was still a child. He watched as Eve and Eugene joined them, standing around them. His rich blue eyes sparkled with fondness as he thought of how to start the story. He took her hand and stroked his finger over the back of her hand. "Once upon a time, in a desert there was a miracle happening" he told her seriously. "A baby was born" he explained and paused smiling as she watched him unsure of how it was special, other than that of course babies must be wonderful. "This baby...is the son of God, and he came to save us all" he explained. "He was born to a virgin named Mary, and her husband Joseph. They had traveled a very long way since there was an edict to do so for taxing purposes. Though she was heavy with child Mary went with her husband, and the journey was long and hard, and she rode on the donkey by day and lay with Joseph by night. Both of them loved the baby before he was even born, and though Joseph was not his blood father, because God had blessed Mary, he still loved the baby. After the long journey finally came to an end they entered Bethlehem, and Mary was close to giving birth" he paused and waited as she listened eagerly. Her beautiful green eyes were wide with wonder and her brow was furrowed a little showing her concern.
Rapunzel didn't know what he meant by saving, but she was sure she'd learn more, and the more she listened to the wonderful story about a man and woman who loved each other, and their unborn baby, the more she knew she liked Christmas. "She's about to have her baby? Where do they go? I don't know if I could have ridden that donkey like that!" she exclaimed feeling very eager. "Please don't stop dad!" she exclaimed and squeezed his hand, then pushed his hair out of his face, 'It's not fair to make me wait any longer please?" she begged and was rewarded with a smile.
Vincent chuckled, "I promise" he assured her. "Well the problem was that Joseph didn't have a place to live in Bethlehem, so when he and Mary got there they realized she would soon deliver. But the inn was full and there was no place for them. Still an inn keeper taking pity on them seeing Mary's fragile state said that they could sleep in the manger for the night. Until something else opened up" he explained. He smiled brightly, "But that night, a wondrous series of things happened that very first Christmas night! Angels came down, and they told shepherds, that the savior had been born" he explained. "They told the shepherds to go to the manger in Bethlehem and see the new king" he went on keeping his pace even enough for her to absorb it all. "Far from the east traveled three wise men, who had watched a star over Bethlehem, now some say that night they came others say it took longer. However long it took the wonder of that night is not forgotten, for in that manger was born Jesus, the Son of God, and Man's savior" he explained. "And that is why we celebrate Christmas" he told her.
Rapunzel was wrapped up in the story and sighed happily, then looked confused. "Then where did Santa clause come from?" she asked him speculatively. "I mean Eugene told me that he'd come" she explained. "You know flying reindeer? Elves? Are they real?" she asked him curiously. She wrung her hands, had her day dreaming been for nothing? Not that of course a savior's birth was not to be celebrated greatly, but Santa had sounded like a lot of fun too.
He chuckled, "We give the gifts, it's in memory of Jesus' birth since he was the greatest gift born to man" he told her. "But Santa was a man who gave kindly when he was alive so people honored him with the set up that Eugene told you about" he informed her. "We as adults don't play the Santa card, unless Eugene told you because he believed still" he mused and looked at Eugene who was blushing.
Eugene laughed, "No, I was just telling her the story because she was asking me questions about the Santa clause ornaments you had" he pointed out. "I had heard of Jesus but I didn't want to tell all the stories" he explained with a sheepish grin. "Sorry Rapunzel but you still get presents" he assured her and smiled lovingly at her. "I hope I didn't get your hopes up too much, Christmas is magic and wonderful even without Santa Clause it's about family and friends, and for me you" he said seriously, and touched her shoulder and smiled lovingly at her. "I didn't mean to lead you on" he assured her, had just assumed she knew it was a story and nothing more.
Rapunzel smiled and shrugged, "I guess I should have realized Reindeer don't fly" she mused, "But it would still be so cool!" she mused. Then she melted as he touched her arm, "You are my family too Eugene" she assured him, "And I could live a million Christmas's without Santa Clause...but not one single one without you..." she trailed off and blushed realizing they weren't alone. But she couldn't help but notice the way her father looked slightly fatherly and protective. She knew he trusted Eugene since her parents knew that he had been the reason for her coming home safe and sound. "I love you" she trailed off and blushed as she stood up and pulled him in for a loving but brief kiss, which was cut short when the clock bonged the hour. "ITS CHRISTMAS!" she squealed happily and spun them both around in a couple of happy twirls.
Eugene wanted to pull her close and hold her as she spoke, but he didn't he let her come to him knowing that her parents were right there he intended to keep their kiss short and sweet, however as midnight hit Rapunzel broke away and had them spinning in tight circles. He laughed and pulled her close again, "Yes it is" he said seriously, Rapunzel" he knelt down now, knowing full well it was time. He took her hand and she stopped and looked at him wide eyed. "Rapunzel...will you do me the honor" he trailed off and pulled out a box, and then flipped it open. "Of being my wife?" he asked unsure of how else to say it. He'd wanted to sound smoother more romantic..but in that moment he knew this was all she needed.
Rapunzel gasped and looked at him in shock, her eyes were huger than ever, almost like the night she'd seen the lanterns on. She looked from him to her mother who looked equally shocked and to her father who was tearing up and nodding eagerly at her, and then back to her mother who was tearing up as well. Then she waited a moment and looked at him, "Yes, absolutely, totally yes!" she exclaimed and looked at the beautiful ring that he'd bought for her. It was still in the box, it was golden, with diamonds, and mixed in were some emeralds, it was beautiful! She watched as he removed it from the box, her heart was hammering as he slipped it onto her ring finger.
He stood up and smiled happily, he tried to not show just how emotional he was feleing in that moment. But he failed miserably as tears came to his eyes, but he smiled at her. "I had debated on waiting till we opened the other presents, but after what you said..I just couldn't wait a moment longer after midnight" he told her. "Your father and I talked about this a while ago, and it took some convincing but he did say yes" he informed her, "After that I realized I wanted to wait till Christmas" he told her. "A perfect gift, my heart...yours forever Rapunzel, and having it returned with equal love...it only makes it better" he managed. "I know I sound cheesy sorry" he muttered with a blush as he looked away from her for a moment and rubbed the back of his neck self consciously.
She smiled at him, "I am glad you both agreed" she said though she wasn't sure why there was a custom of asking fathers. But she wasn't angry at all, her father had said yes and given her the one thing she wanted most of all Eugene forever! She was suddenly bombarded by Even who grabbed her in a very eager hug, and then pulled back and looked at the ring. She giggled, "Mom..you didn't know did you?" she asked her.
Eve felt the tears of joy falling and laughed as she looked at her daughter and then the ring, "Not a clue I think your father and Eugene conspired to surprise us both" she said seriously. "And surprise us they did" she assured her and kissed her cheek happily before attacking Eugene with a hug, leaving Rapunzel to be engulfed in a hug by her father.
"Hey daddy" she giggled and sighed happily, "Thank you for agreeing" she said seriously, then smiled broadly at him, "You're all crying, though I can't say I'm not about to" she admitted feeling her own tears welling up. "There is no better gift than being with my family, and I will never spend another Christmas away from you I promise" she told her father as he finally released her to Eugene, she watched as he pulled Eve into a hug and he smiled at her.
"You will have to wait till morning for the rest of the gifts...no sweet talking is going to get you more" he said seriously and then laughed. "Your mother and I will leave you two to enjoy a private moment, but don't go to bed too late, we are up at dawn" he promised them and kissed Rapunzel's cheek, "Behave" he told Eugene and then chuckled as Eve elbowed him in a most unqueen like manner. "Goodnight" he told them as they both left.
Rapunzel smiled and was aware of Pascal for the first time all night, he seemed to love the fireplace and avoided the cold windows. But he felt the urge to see what was going on and was happy, she giggled. "Well it seems not just father and mother approve of you and of course me... but Pascal" she told Eugene. "I love you...forever I will be with you and only you" she told him seriously as she took both his hands. "You will never beable to top this Christmas" she assured Eugene.
Eugene blushed at her father's warning and smiled at they left, and then watched as Pascal made his way towards them. "That's good to know" he told Rapunzel and then smirked at Pascal made his way back to the fire place. "He doesn't like winter" he mused. Then smiled fondly at Rapunzel, and then kissed her softly and long, a passionate sweet kiss that was uninterrupted, he pulled her close his arms wrapped around her and he savored the feel of her against him. Soon, very soon they would be husband and wife, as soon as the wedding could be done; and it killed him to know it might take almost a year before a royal wedding was ready. After all you couldn't just have a small wedding! He sighed as he pulled back, "You know all that time in the orphanage and alone, I never thought I'd find someone, not even someone half as nice and sweet as you. I never imagined I'd find love, or be accepted, truly accepted, ever! You really took me by surprise, and I'm not just talking about when you broke my smolder, or hit me multiple times with that frying pan" he told her and stroked her face. "Even if you weren't physically beautiful, I would still see the beauty within you" he told her seriously.
She sighed and listened to him, "I didn't know what love was my entire life, I knew sadness and restrictions...I never thought I'd meet you either" she said and smiled fondly at him. "We really did make each other's lives better didn't we?" she asked him, and stroked his cheek and moved up to push his hair out of his face letting her fingers run through the full locks. "I hope a wedding is not too hard to plan" she mused. "I've never been to one" she admitted. "How long do you think it might take...before we're husband and wife?" she asked him curiously looking anxious. "I don't want to wait long" she explained.
He chuckled, "We have each other, and as long as that's the case we can wait. The royal weddings are huge and take much time to plan, it might be a few months it might be a year" he informed her and nodded as she cringed. "I agree, but a wedding even for peasants isn't such a simple matter" he assured her. Then played with her short hair accidentally loosening one of the flowers, it fell to her skirt and he put it back a moment later. "I am truly sorry you ever suffered Rapunzel" he said seriously. "If it is up to me I will spend the rest of my life making every day wonderful and love will be all you know" he said seriously stroking her cheek softly as she teared up. "Now your father is right..we have a very early morning" he said seriously.
Rapunzel sighed, "Too long for my liking but you are right as long as we're together, that is what maters" she said and then sighed as he made his promise. "I will do my best to make sure that you don't feel like you ever have to call yourself Flynn Rider again, you'll only know acceptance and love from me" she promised him and kissed his lips again briefly, "Well then you may as well walk me to my room" she said simply and let him stand up and offer her his arm. She took it and the two exited the main hall, after a few minutes they were standing before the two wide doors that lead to the most amazing room Rapunzel had ever seen with more than three books, and best of all a way out. "Good night my handsome Fiancé" she said simply and smiled softly before opening her door and leaving him alone in the hallway.
He stood there for several moments and smiled, it was wonderful to hear her say it. He left the door finally and went to his own room that was down the hall several doors. He knew that he was lucky to be here and have a home at last. Even if he and Rapunzel had been too poor to own more than a thatched cottage, he would have been just as happy. The fact that he would probably never have to worry about another meal was nice though, but that was not why he loved her and so far no one had accused him of being a gold digger. After all he'd fallen in love with her before he had known anything about the title that accompanied Rapunzel's family. "Good night Rapunzel... Merry Christmas my love" he whispered as he entered his room and went to bed.