Jack and Ianto were sprawled on the couch at their house, too stuffed with Christmas dinner to even think of moving.
“Did you celebrate Christmas on Boeshane,” Ianto asked idly.
Jack shook his head.
“No. By then earth traditions had practically died out. When humans started travelling beyond earth, their traditions mixed with those of the alien cultures we ran into until no one really remembered the old ways anymore. All that remained were jumbled up bits and pieces that made no sense. Each colony developed its own celebrations to fit themselves and the worlds they lived on,” he explained.
“It seems weird to think of a future with no Christmas,” Ianto said sadly. “To me it’s like a ray of hope during the darkest part of winter.”
“Most planets, those with seasons anyway, developed their own midwinter celebrations. On Boeshane, ours was called the Festival of the Trees.”
“I’m guessing that had something to do with your family trees?” Ianto raised an eyebrow.
“You guess right! On the shortest day, families gathered at their tree and decorated it, then held hands in a circle around it and each said what they were thankful for. Like Christmas and Thanksgiving combined.”
“Sounds lovely. You know, we should do that with our tree!” Ianto said with a smile.
“There’s only two of us though.”
“Well, it’s only a small tree. Besides, every family has to start somewhere. We might only be two people with a very small tree, but our tree will grow with our family.”
“True. We’d better go easy with the decorations this year though, don’t want to overburden it.”
Ianto levered himself up off the sofa.
“We have some leftover tinsel and the pinecones David and Mica decorated with glitter.”
“Perfect! You find those while I get our coats.”
Twenty minutes later, wrapped in coats, scarves and woolly hats, they stood in their backyard, either side of their little tree, festooning it with tinsel and pinecones. Ianto made a mental note to get something less gaudy for next year.
When the decorations were hung, they joined hands around the sapling, smiling at each other through its slender branches.
Ianto spoke first.
“I’m thankful for my family, friends and the chance to spend eternity with the man I love.”
Jack swallowed hard.
“I’m thankful for the love of this amazing man; because of him, I don’t dread the future anymore.”