Tara turned on the small clock radio/CD player/coffee pot contraption, which Willow insisted on buying, as she started to rinse the dishes and place them into the dishwasher. The gang was in the living room, watching another Christmas movie. When Tara had went into the kitchen Xander was finishing up his Snoopy Dance as Dawn was placing Emmett Otter's Jug Band Christmas into the VCR. A reminder of the Christmas season flowed from the tiny speakers and Tara couldn't help but sing along.
This was the last movie of the night, made obvious by everyone starting to sink further into their seats and heavy eyelids started to close. Buffy was still wide awake however, as she was an ‘up at night kinda person' so she decided to be of some service and help clean up a little. She gathered a few items from the coffee table and headed towards the kitchen.
Buffy almost dropped the bowl of popcorn when she entered the kitchen. But then she paused. Everything stood still. Even the stars held their breath as Tara sang Silent Night.
Willow noticed Buffy standing at the archway to the kitchen, her curiosity sent her to check it out. But she too could only stand there and watch the angel with the beautiful voice. One by one the others gathered around and watched. When the song ended everyone started clapping.
Startled, Tara turned around, red faced in embarrassment. "Oh... uh... Sorry."
"Don't be." Willow walked up and gave her girl a kiss causing the others to turn back to the living room and the movie they were watching.
It was a cold day for Sunnydale, which seemed appropriate as Buffy drove around Christmas Shopping. The town was becoming festive...it was more than red and green and glitter that laced the streets of town.
Once again the holiday season was evident in the radio, as another parody version of the 12 Days of Christmas played on the University of California Sunnydale Radio Station. It was actually the 5th one in a row that they had done. As Buffy stopped for pedestrians carrying bags of presents and rolls of wrapping paper, the station broke to commercial.
"Alright folks, that was the 12 Pains of Christmas. I'd also like to remind you all that our annual UCSD Radio Christmas Carol Competition is coming up on Christmas Eve. We still have plenty of spots open so to sign up call us here at 555-UCSD. The winners will attend our New Year's Eve Party with some of your favourite bands, as well as receive a shiny plaque. And up next we'll have some more fun Christmas songs after the break."
Buffy picked up her cell phone and started dialling....
The next Sunday night, the gang sits around the kitchen table playing a game of Life while listening to the radio.
"We have all spots filled for C3-05, but don't forget to come out and watch them on Main Street, Christmas Eve at 7 p.m." came from the speakers.
"Oh that reminds me, we are competing in that!" Buffy commented.
"Competing? Competing in what?" Xander asked.
"The Christmas Carol Competition. I signed us up."
"You w-w-what!?!?" Tara stuttered, her first in a long while.
"We can't do that. No singing. We can't sing in front of people. I can't sing in front of people... Oh dear.... Oh dear...." Willow ranted.
"Look it will be fine. See we have Tara to sing, and she's great so we are sure to win!" Buffy pointed out.
"No... No... No..." Tara began chanting quietly and shaking her head.
"Come on we have to do it. I already signed us up."
"I think it sounds like a great idea. Besides it will be fun, we don't even have to win." Xander breaks out loudly and poorly into Jingle Bells.
"Well if you sing like that we won't." said Dawn.
"Maybe if we practiced..." Buffy said.
"It is next Sunday, our schedules hardly ever fit together, which is why we always spend Sunday evenings together. We won't have time to practice!"
"Please Tara, you are a good singer. We can do this."
After about an hour of begging a deal had been made.
"Okay, if you teach Willow how to wrap presents.... Then yes I'll do it."
"Wait how is this a deal for me, I have to start wrapping presents myself and I have to sing in front of people?" Willow wondered out loud as they all dispersed.
Many people were gathered on Main Street, bundled in their scarves and caps, a few of them cradling cups of hot cocoa. The gang was there as well, Xander and Buffy bouncing around excited and the others showing signs of nerves.
They were there early, as Buffy wanted to check out the competition. Her eyes were on the crowd as the others huddled.
"What if I forget the words? What if I freeze? Wait, what are we singing again?" Willow asked.
"Little Drummer Boy." Said Buffy.
"I thought we were supporting Tara while she sang Silent Night?" said Xander.
"No, over there is a Little Drummer Boy... He appears to be lost." Said Buffy.
"Aww... isn't he cute. He's wearing a kilt." said Dawn.
"He looks like he's about to cry." Xander commented.
Tara was on automatic, as she walked towards the small lost child, the others shortly behind her.
"Hey there sweetie. Are you lost?" She asked as she squatted down to get a better look.
"Yes." The boy sniffled.
"Are you here for the competition?" asked Tara.
"Yes." he sniffled again.
"And you can't find your group?" asked Tara.
Buffy was still looking around the crowd, but this time for someone who might be with the boy. Then she spotted them. Eleven men, in kilts carrying drums, were wandering through crowd, all of them in search of something.
Buffy walked up to Tara and the boy. "I think I found them." she said as she pointed to the group.
"Tommy!" one of them men shouted as he ran towards them and scooped Tommy up in his arms.
"Thank goodness. Tommy, you need to be more careful and keep up with Daddy okay." said another man.
"I'm sorry Daddy, I sawed the trains in the window of the shop, and when I looked up you's was gone."
"It is okay sweetie," said the man holding Tommy, "Daddy and I should have been keeping better track of you." He also gave a quick glare to the other man. "Anyways, thank you for helping him out. We really appreciate it."
"No problem." said Tara.
"Anything for Family." Willow whispered in her ear.
"Uh... So what is with the dresses?" Asked Xander, before the men could leave.
"They are kilts actually. We are in full Scottish Highland Dress."
"Ugh, you don't have any bagpipes with you, do you?" Xander said, while making a face.
"Oh no, we are the 12 Drummers actually. Last year the pipes didn't go over so well, but there were 11 of us."
"Oh, well good luck out there."
"You guys are competing too?"
"Okay, well, Thanks.... And good luck to you too."
The crowded headed towards the stage as the emcee was getting ready to introduce the winners. Willow and Tara were cuddled close, more out of it being natural than from it being cold.
"I think I know what I want for Christmas." Willow whispered in Tara's ear.
"When can we get a little drummer boy of our own?"
"How about a little drummer girl?"
"I don't care, as long as she can sing like her mother."
Later that evening, they headed back to Willow and Tara's house. In the dinning room Tara was listening to the rucus going on in the living room.
"No, you fold it over, and carefully put a small piece of tape there."
"But won't it be easier to..."
"NO. Just do it like I showed you."
"This is too hard."
Tara shook her head and smiled, and continued shining the 1st place plaque before she placed it on the mantle piece.