“It’s Christmas!”

Victoria’s bed jolted up and down as her boyfriend, Vancouver, bounced with exhilaration.

“It’s Christmas! It’s Christmas! It’s Christmas!”

Victoria, still half-asleep, peeked at the calendar on the wall. December 24th.

“Vancouver, it’s only Christmas Eve,” she reminded him, and his face fell. He stepped off the bed to let her out. She plumped up the pillow and straightened out the duvet, then she playfully tussled Vancouver’s hair.

“Such a silly boy, you are,” she told him, and he grinned, taking that as a compliment.

Victoria headed downstairs to the kitchen, Vancouver following behind in thick white cotton socks, to cook the not-quite-Christmas breakfast. The rich yet sweet aroma of chocolate wafted about in the air as she beat some waffle mix in a bowl, sprinkling in a pinch of cinnamon to add some kick. Vancouver entered and inhaled a good long sniff.

“Mmm, smells just like Christmas.”

Victoria nodded, filling the mould of the waffle iron with the mix and snapping it closed. She poured two mugs of cocoa into their personalized cups, drizzling over more cinnamon and handfuls of mini marshmallows. She topped them off with a spraying of whipped cream and a final garnish of cinnamon just as the waffle iron dinged.

Victoria slid the freshly-baked waffles onto a couple of plates, decorating them with fans of red apple slices and even more cinnamon sprinkles. Vancouver inhaled the deepest sniff he could.

“Ooh, that’s the most delicious Christmas breakfast you’ve ever made, Victoria.”

“Well, thank you, Vancouver,” smiled Victoria, laying the food and drinks down on the table.

Victoria munched down firstly on the apple slices, and neatly chopped the waffles in half with her knife. Vancouver swigged big gulps of his cocoa with massive chunks of waffle. Victoria watched him from just across the table, sadly shaking her head in resignation.

Vancouver polished off his plate and cup so fast that by the time he’d finished his breakfast, Victoria was still savouring her waffles.

“Oh Vancouver, it’s like you forget anything I tell you not to do.”

She shook her head again, and Vancouver smiled ruefully. He went over to wash his dirty cutlery.

“Even at Christmas, I still have to do the dishes…” he chuckled.

A light knock came at the bathroom door.

“Santa won’t like you scratching your head, Van,” Victoria called through the wooden panels.

“Eh, it’s alright. He’ll probably mistake the dandruff for snowflakes anyway,” laughed Vancouver.

Victoria could hear him scrubbing shampoo into his scalp from the bedroom while she got dressed into her winter gear.

“Oh, did I come in too early? Sorry.”

Victoria, who was just about slipping on her boots and scarf, was interrupted by Vancouver, who was wrapped in a red towel, his hair dripping. She stepped outside briefly and shut the door to let him get dressed in private.

A few minutes later, she reopened the door to find Vancouver sliding his boots on.

“Vancouver, you’re just putting on your usual clothes and just have your boots to protect yourself from the cold?” Victoria asked.

“Oh, it may look like that to you, but they’re double-padded on the inside,” Vancouver reassured her, patting the thighs of his trousers.

“Well, okay. If that’s how you’re going to go.”

Once they’d both gotten kitted out into their winterwear, Victoria gave Vancouver’s hair a good dry and combing-through to keep it glossy and smooth. Vancouver enjoyed the relaxing dual sensation of the teeth of the comb massaging his roots and scalp and the heat from the hairdryer warming his head. Victoria gave his hair another finishing combing-down, touching it for its lovely softness.

In the hallway, Vancouver and Victoria tugged some thick black insulated gloves onto their hands.

“We wear black because it absorbs more light from the sun and so keeps us warmer,” she told him.

“Ah thanks, Vic. Didn’t know that,” giggled Vancouver.

“You don’t know many things, Vancouver.”

The two stepped out into the fresh Arctic air and snow, shutting the door behind them, and began strolling onto the icy streets of the frozen city.