Activities the Main Six always do during the Winter Holidays that just make sense.
Its that time of year folks and however you celebrate the winter holidays (or don’t for that matter) I wish you all the best for the new year and the future beyond that!
Lights a candle in the doorway. Before MC died and the plague was just beginning MC placed a candle alight to keep ‘hope burning bright’. Asra continued to light it every Winter Holiday after, hoping for MC’s memories to return and for a brighter future.
Buys gifts through the year to give. Whenever MC or anyone else mentions something they like, or need Asra buys it the very same day if he can and places it in a box stashed away to give to the receiver that Winter Holiday.
Wants MC to sit in his lap as they open presents. Simple really, he just likes being close and being able to give MC neck kisses as they gasp at the gifts he gets them, or in thanks to MC for his own gifts..
Unwrapping presents in bed. Continuing from presents Asra prefers unwarping presents in bed because why not?! The shop flat is cold and the bed is warm and he’s too excited about the gifts to worry about lighting the fireplace yet. Also he just wants to snuggle with MC.
Morning pumpkin bread. Every Winter Holiday Selasi the baker makes Winter Holiday goodies for the locals and Asra drags MC to go get some warm pumpkin bread to eat as both walk to Muriel’s hut.
Gifts Muriel an orange. When he and Muriel were on the streets the two wanted to celebrate but could never afford much besides an orange for each other, the tradition continued every year without fail even when Muriel was locked away in the Coliseum and when Asra moved into the shop. It's a symbol of their friendship and the times, good and bad, they spent with each other.
After the long day of other Winter Holiday activities Asra takes MC for a walk through the streets, snow lining the streets of the city and colourful lanterns lighting them Asra and MC wander the streets and everytime you hear music coming from a home or bar he leads them into a dance under the falling snow.
Winter Holiday palace treasure hunt. Nadia’s favourite family tradition was the treasure hunt for the Winter Holiday tree and presents that her parents hosted every year (where they would find a string and follow it), not only did each of her siblings receive a gift but her parents gave gifts to each servant and guard that worked at the palace too. It's a tradition she proudly works on every year.
Gifts MC a new outfit for the festivities. Every year without fail MC gets a new unique outfit for the festive season (like a christmas jumper but a bit more formal), the outfit is worn during the Winter Holiday activities and is always too gorgeous for words.
Sleigh ride. Going out into the marvelous winter wonderland is magical, and a sleigh ride is even more so. Nadia often has a pair of dappled grey horses pulling a sleigh piled with blankets and hot drinks and drives the sleigh through the city giving out candies.
Food bank donations. With the sleigh ride comes the piles of food Nadia gifts to the homeless shelters of Vesuvia, she wants her people to experience as much joy as they can during the festive season. She wishes she could do better but she is working hard to make the season better for every one of the people.
Winter Holiday festival. Founded before Nadia and even Lucio’s rule over the city, Nadia’s favourite event is the festival the people throw on the frozen canals of the city (although she can’t vouch for how safe it is). But in all honesty she just loves spoiling MC with the gifts off the stalls and seeing how happy it makes others.
Snowflake making. The return to the palace is filled with food and music but Nadia enjoys the evening most. Picking up yet another of her own family’s traditions, making snowflakes out of paper. It's a nice quiet time to talk about the festivities and share stories and generally the others show up to join in and relax with some yummy desserts.
Above all Nadia loves sharing spiced wine and reclining with MC, just sitting among pillows and drinking the night away. She’s full of giggles and chaste kisses during the evening and tells some truly terrible jokes and pranks that her siblings pulled on the servants during the season.
Stockings over the fireplace. Of the traditions he can remember Julian’s favourite were the stockings his parents filled for him and Portia, truth be told it's the only one he remembers... To this day he fills stockings for Maz, Portia and MC and somehow manages to hang them on respective fireplaces without any one of them knowing.
Does not get any sleep on Winter Holiday eve. Why? Because not only is he doing the stockings, he’s delivering presents from the ‘Winter Spirit’ to everyone he knows. Julian likes to think everyone believes in the spirit delivering the gifts but everyone knows it’s is him but they go along with it.
Popcorn and cranberry strings. For some unknown reason Julian is obsessed with popcorn and cranberry strings, maybe he likes the monogamy of it all but the real reason is he just likes hearing MC talk and there's nothing else to do but talk during the making of the stings. Also they are tasty, Malak agrees.
Draws loved ones for Winter Holiday. For all the excitement during the Winter Holiday Julian does take some time for peace and serenity, during a party or unwarping presents he’s usually sat in a chair scratching away on paper and drawing MC, or Maz, Portia, Asra, Muriel, Nadia or any one of the pets. Usually he ends up with little drawings of his loved ones to look back on year after year. It’s his favourite little tradition, one of his own.
Strategically places mistletoe. Julian is all for kisses under the mistletoe (mainly with MC) but he is a devil when it comes to placing the mistletoe in places where it will yield the best results. No one is safe and pretty much everyone has kissed each other. Jokes on him because at one point he walked under some with Muriel.
Bar hopping. Julian finds it very important to sample the Winter Holiday ales of all the bars in Vesuvia so he takes everyone for a round at every place. He loves seeing everyone happy and enjoying themselves and the drunken snowball fights that ensue are the funnest part of his evening even if he gets a cold afterwards...
Making Winter Holiday ornaments. Even before the Winter Holiday season Muriel is making ornaments to hang around the hut or gift to people, he learned that many people were willing to pay for such trinkets and his skills in carving helped pay for many a meal when he and Asra were orphans. Now he does it out of habit, but is glad they make MC happy.
Makes charms that make the hut smell a certain way. A skill learned from Asra, Muriel enjoys making the hut smell like different things with his charms, they were also once popular in the market when the two sold them. Now they serve to make the hut a comforting smell, Muriel really likes the spiced orange smelling ones.
Messing around in the snow. When MC and Muriel are out in the snow the mountain man becomes strangely obsessed with messing around in it, pushing snow off branches and onto MC’s head, throwing handfuls for Inanna to snap at and even just falling into snow drifts with MC in his arms. He’s still plenty warm enough afterwards.
Gifting to the orphans/feeding orphans. Muriel knows what it's like to have no home or family during the Winter Holiday, so there’s an open invitation to all the street urchins to spend Winter Holiday with him and MC. For all his bluster at not liking people Muriel is very warm and welcoming to the orphans.
Gift to the animals. Muriel spends the months leading up to Winter Holiday making sure each animal with have their own gift, despite the chickens seemingly indifferent take on their new hut. But the wild birds love the berries Muriel puts out and Inanna will refuse to give up her wolf pup teddy for even the juiciest slice of roast.
Yule log and cuddles. Muriel spends many meticulous hours carving the shapes into the yule log and enchanting it to make the flames different colours so its a full fledged ritual to settle down next to the fire and cuddle with MC as both watch it crackle and sparkle. Muriel dishes out some gentle head kisses as he dozes on MC’s chin.
Hot cocoa. Hands down Portia’s hot cocoa is the best in the city and maybe the whole world, since she was young Portia spent years making her hot cocoa recipe perfect. Julian likes to joke that it even rivals their father’s hot cocoa, Portia has tried many times to get it to taste like her father’s for Julian.
Makes MC a scarf, socks, hat, gloves. The mismatched and misshapen winter warmers Portia made in her childhood to hide in Julian’s own stockings have with practice become beautiful hand crafted sets of socks, scarves, hat and gloves that she gifts to her loved ones.
Decorate the cottage. Since learning magic Portia has become obsessed with decorating the cottage using said magic, rainbow lights lining the path way, dancing lights around the doorway and a door knocker that sings a festive song when used. The list of decorations is exhaustive and the cottage is visible within a few miles everyone in the palace agrees it is the best decorated place in the city.
Sledding. Non-arguably Portia’s favourite thing to do in the snow, sledding is an activity she remembers doing with Julian many a winter when the snow was everywhere. She invites everyone to go sledding and even to this day she demands Julian pull the sled like he did when she was little. Even Pepi has her own little sled.
Visit Maz who feeds Portia and MC. During Winter Holiday Maz, Portia and MC spend hours making the largest Winter Holiday feast for everyone to enjoy, packed into the small house the feast lasts just as long into the night. It’s not dissimilar to the feasts they had on Maz’s ship with the pirate crew and Portia enjoys the yummy food.
Snowball ambush of Julian. Without fail if there is snow there is an ambush waiting to happen, it gets Julian very jumpy but without fail Portia and MC manage to get pelt him with snowballs. The resulting snowball fight usually ends in defeat for Julian, but Portia and MC hardly play fair.
Advent calendar. Such events as Winter Holiday were not widely celebrated by Lucio’s tribe but after discovering Vesuvia’s traditions he became infatuated with Winter Holiday. Especially the lead up to it between the two of them, MC and Lucio make advent calendars for each other, twelve days of receiving gifts which they have to hunt for in the city.
Walk with the dogs. Once presents and morning cuddles are done Lucio and MC step out into the winter wonderland to walk the dogs (who practically disappear into the snow). The walk involves delivering presents to the others (who are warming up to the new Lucio) and chatting about various other plans for the day.
Baking gingerbread house. Ever since seeing the gingerbread houses the baker made Lucio has obsessed over making one, although he could easily buy them, but he couldn’t find anyone who wanted to make one of the palace. He’s getting better at them over the years, but MC’s own creations are much better.
Light show. In true Lucio fashion he plans the spectacular light shows that the city get to enjoy, fireworks and magic for all to watch. The light show is a far cry simpler than his other parties, but he doesn’t throw them to impress everyone, just MC.
Ballet. In the evenings Lucio would usually throw a party but since MC introduced him to the ballet’s he was invited too but never actually thought about going to. Lucio actually really began enjoying them, mostly because he likened the stories to himself and MC’s adventures. He’s actually begun planning one of the two of them for next year’s show.
Charades. The last event of the evening is charades, usually he’s drunk or tipsy at that point so its quite funny to watch him make a fool of himself in front of the others who actually decided to indulge the former count. All he mimes is wanting a kiss from MC, who can’t help but blush even if its the fifth time he’s done it.
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