Cocoa and Cinnamon
Her little boy couldn't be more excited about the idea of getting presents. It was the idea of a man with a white beard coming down their chimney that threw him off.
"So he breaks into our house?" Roland asked, a terrified look on his small face.
"No, no no no. He's nice, I promise. If you write him a letter telling him what you want, there's a high chance he'll get it for you on Christmas Day." Regina didn't know why it was taking so long for him to understand the concept.
"Why can't I just tell him what I want? I want to know who he is before he comes down the chimney." The five year old persisted, causing his mother to sigh.
"Roland you can't-" she stopped short when she realized that they could possibly pull if off. She'd seen it done on multiple movies, it couldn't be that hard. "You know what? I can see if I can in touch with him," Regina corrected herself with a slight smile, "if I do, will you tell him what you want?"
Roland seemed excited at her response. "Yes! If you promise he's nice," he folded his arms across his chest, seeming more than serious about it.
"I promise he will be," she reassured, rubbing his back softly, knowing then that "he" would be either Charming, Killian, Robin or Neal. It would be interesting trying to talk them into it.
"I like Christmas now Momma," Roland grinned up at her, thrilled now that he was going to meet this mysterious man who gave presents away to every single well behaved person in the world.
"See? Told you!" She tapped his nose playfully, before pointing outside. "Roland, look! It's snowing!"
Regina pointed towards the window, seeing snow begin to fall on their back lawn.
Her son's eyes lit up with wonder. "Can I go outside?" He asked excitedly.
"Of course! Just make sure you bundle up." Regina then saw Jupiter laying on the couch. "Why don't you take your dog with you? She looks too comfortable over there."
She tried not to take too much pleasure in seeing her son drag the puppy outside with him. Watching from the comfort of her warm house, Regina took to delight how easily Roland could have the best time of his life. Amidst the snow flurries, he was running around the yard with his arms spread out like an airplane, Jupiter right at his heels. He was wearing his puffy red jacket that made him look like an oversized marshmallow. Regina knew he would be requesting hot cocoa when he came back inside, so she started on a couple mugs.
"He sounds like he's having a blast out there," Robin said behind her, wrapping his arms around her middle.
"Couldn't pass up an opportunity to play in the snow," she smiled, "although, once it starts here it'll never stop. Not until late spring that is."
"Different from the Enchanted Forest, huh." Robin replied, "but I don't care. I learned how to use all your odd little gadgets here in this realm, what's a little cold."Regina let out a small laugh as the microwave beeped a few times. "That's why we have cocoa. You want me to make you some?"
"Sure, why not. The food here sure is better than in the Enchanted Forest. You can only eat beans and berries for so long." He smirked, watching her add a pinch of cinnamon to her mug.
"So, did I catch you up enough on Christmas?" Regina asked, bringing the mug to her lips.
He nodded. "I think so. Still don't know how I feel about lying to Roland about a made up person..."
"It's part of the fun!" She persisted, "I swear, you have no fun in the Enchanted Forest. Granted, I did live there for most of my life. I don't know if I could ever go back."She then prepared his mug and handed it carefully over to him. "Be careful, it's pretty hot."
"Henry also mentioned something about a tree," Robin added, after registering the taste of the coca for a moment. "I never celebrated Christmas before- not since I was really little anyways."
"Henry persists on us getting a real tree this year, but they take more work." Regina told him, turning her attention back to Roland, who was still romping around like it was the best day of his life.
"If we really wanted to get one, we would have to talk to David about it."
Robin couldn't help but laugh. "They have one, huh? You get way too into this whole Christmas thing."
"Do not!" Regina objected, tempted to whack him on the arm. "Christmas is the one special holiday when everyone comes together and gives each other presents, and cook each other dinner, and sing dumb songs and watch cute movies- all as a family. I want to give Roland the best Christmas experience ever. You too. Because we're a family, and that's what families do. I... I know you've been stressed with all this nursery stuff, as well as work and everything else-"
"Hey, it's fine, I can talk to David about getting a tree. I'm excited for Christmas, I really am." Robin reassured her, finishing up his cocoa and setting his mug down.
"How long has he been out there?"
Regina shrugged. "Probably about twenty minutes. I should see what he's up to."
She found her jacket in the closet, and her fiancé helped her into it. The weather wasn't the most desirable to go out in, but she couldn't leave her son out there.
"Roland! What have you been doing out here?" She asked, spotting him lying on his back, right on top of the fresh blanket of snow.
Jupiter was running around him, jumping into the air and catching snowflakes that fell from the sky. "Snow angels Mommy!" He announced, moving his arms and legs up and down.
A wide smile crossed over her face as she watched him. Pulling out her phone, she took a few pictures of him lying in the snow to capture the moment. Even though he was wearing a scarf around his neck, his cheeks were still a rosy red.
"Well I'm happy you're having fun, but you should come inside. Aren't you cold?"
Roland nodded. "I want hot cocoa!"
She knew he would ask that. "I have a mug waiting for you when you get inside. But I'm freezing, so let's go!"
Sitting up, Roland gave her a look. "Can you carry me?"
Regina sighed. "You know I can't, Roland. I think you can walk just fine."
He wasn't too enthusiastic about it, but the boy obeyed, calling his dog to follow him.
"See, isn't it nice and warm in here?" Regina asked, handing him his mug as he climbed up on one of the barstools.
Nodding, the five year old cupped the mug in his small hands. "When will I meet Santa, Mommy?"
She thought for a moment. "I'll ask him, how about that? Whatever works with his schedule."
Her remark was followed by a happy cheer. Now all she needed was to persuade someone willing to be jolly old Saint Nick for a day.