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Christmas Time

Sammy pressed his hands up against the clear, frosty window and stared out into the Winter world beyond. He could see the soft snowflakes tumbling down from the sky and the icy crystals that had gathered on the outside of the window. He breathed against the window and watched as the mist condensed upon the glass.

Eagerly he peered out into the dark street, lit by the bright, flickering Christmas lights, hoping to see him coming.

"Sammy, he'll be here for when you wake up in the morning. You should go to bed now," Jackie said, reaching out to place her hands upon the child's shoulders.

"But I want to see him now!" Sammy protested, refusing to leave his watch out post by the window.

He hadn't seen him in so long… too long…

"Sammy, it's late," Harold said. "He's probably stuck in traffic."

Sammy felt his eyes beginning to water. He knew it was late, but he wanted to see him today on Christmas Eve.

"Come on, bed," Harry said, wrapping his arms about Sammy's waist to pick him up.

Sammy suddenly caught sight of the headlights as a car slowly made its way along the icy road. His eyes shimmered happily like fairy lights.

"Daddy!" he squealed.

There is something special
About this time of year
The Christmas feeling's everywhere

Brian smiled as he pulled up in front of the house and saw the front door fly open. A small, blond haired angel wearing a red coat and a teddy bear print scarf immediately bounded through the doorway and stood excitedly bouncing upon the path. Brian jumped out of the car and opened his arms just in time for Sammy to leap into them.

"Daddy!" Sammy said, burying his head in Brian's coat.

Brian smiled and kissed the top of his head. He could feel tears in his eyes. He had been so scared that he had not been going to make it in time and this was important to him, his first Christmas with Sammy.

"I thought you weren't coming," Sammy said, gripping him tightly with his tiny arms.

"I'm here now," Brian reassured him, scooping the boy up into his arms and carrying him into the warmth of their home.

"Brian!" His mother immediately rushed to see him, smiling as she caught sight of Sammy in his arms.

"Hey mom! Hi dad!" Brian greeted, placing Sammy down for a second so that he could lovingly embrace his parents.

"Look at the tree! Look at the tree!" Sammy squealed happily pointing to the huge Christmas tree that filled an entire corner of the room. The bright baubles and thick golden tinsel sparkled magnificently in the lights overhead.

"Aw, isn't it pretty!" Brian said, smiling at Sammy's excitement.

Sammy smiled at him and then stared into one of the baubles, watching as the spheres contorted his reflection. He turned his face and stuck out his tongue, giggling at the image it caused. Brian kissed him on the head and used a finger to flick the bauble into a wild spin.

"Thanks for taking care of him," he added quietly to his mother.

"Don't mention it. It's lovely to have him here," his mother replied watching as Sammy poked all of the baubles on the tree to set them whirling.

Brian smiled slightly, glad that he had such supportive parents. They had helped him so much in the last six months with Sammy. He doubted if he would have been able to cope with being both a Backstreet Boy and a single parent without their help.

He turned to Sammy who had now scrambled up onto the knee of Brian's brother Harry and laughed slightly as he watched Sammy using his brother as a step to reach the chocolates that hung near the top of the Christmas tree.

"Come here you!" Brian said, seizing Sammy about the waist and playfully dragging him away from the tempting chocolates. "You can have them tomorrow!"

"He's been after them all day!" Harry said, patting Sammy on the head and handing him the chocolate he had been trying to reach. "There you go, but no more!"

"Thank you!" Sammy said.

"Where's that sister in law and lovely baby niece of mine?" Brian asked.

"Upstairs asleep," Harry replied. "And I think it's way time Sammy joined them!"

"No! Wanna stay up!" Sammy said.

"If you stay up then you'll be too tired to open all your lovely presents tomorrow!" Brian pointed out.

"Mmm," Sammy replied sleepily.

"Time for bed baby," Brian said softly, kissing him on the cheek. "Let's get you tucked in."

I just got home to join you
I've been away too long
But now I'm back to share my love

Friends are reunited
One big family
Filled with love to last throughout the year

Sammy was too sleepy to put up much of a fight as Brian carried him up the stairs. He wanted to stay up and tell Brian everything he had done while he had been away. Even though he had spoken to him on the phone most nights, it was nothing like having Brian in person. He pressed his head into Brian’s warm jersey, loving the way he felt so safe in his arms.

“Brush your teeth,” Brian said, placing Sammy down and giving him a push towards the bathroom. “I’ll get your bed ready.”

Sammy nodded and scampered into the bathroom where his crocodile toothbrush was waiting for him. He couldn’t resist playing with it for a second after he had finished the important (yet messy business) of brushing his teeth with the thick toothpaste.

“Grrr!” he said as made the crocodile chase after the sponge shaped like a duck. He smiled slightly as he heard Brian humming to himself from the spare bedroom. He wasn’t used to having a family where everyone was always happy to see each other.

He turned back to the sink and for a moment he thought of his mother. That life now was like some kind of misty dream and Sammy wondered why it was so hard to remember sometimes while others it was so easy. Sometimes he would smile as he remembered her blond hair and laughing face while she watched him play and then he would remember her shouting at him and hitting him…

Why had she been so different? He had never understood her them and he couldn’t understand now. All he knew was that now he had a loving family… but it would have been nice if she was still here. Maybe Brian could have made her happy like he had done Sammy.

Suddenly a pair of strong arms had wrapped about his waist and he squealed as fingers began to tickle him.

“I found a Sammy!” Brian’s voice said as he tickled Sammy’s waist and arms.

“Daddy!” Sammy complained as he struggled to free himself.

“Bed,” Brian said swinging him round towards the door.

Sammy murmured a few complaints, deciding that he wanted to stay up, but Brian was determined that he go to sleep.

“Don’t want to,” Sammy said.

“You’re tired.”

“Can I sleep under the Christmas tree?” he asked, thinking about how nice it would be to have the sparkling baubles turning above him and the bright tinsel overhead.

Brian laughed slightly. “No, or they’ll be no room for Santa to put your presents!”

Sammy yawned as Brian placed him on the bed and tucked him in with his favourite toys. He found his beloved Rocky the dog and hugged him close to him.

“Story?” Sammy asked.

“Not tonight,” Brian said softly. “You’re too tired to listen to a story.”


Brian kissed him on the head and smiled down at him as he placed the final blanket on top of the duvet to keep Sammy nice and snug. “All right.”

Sammy placed his head down on the pillows and yawned again. He heard Brian’s soft voice start to sing as he closed his eyes and he smiled at the sound, loving every word that came from his lips because it told him that wasn’t alone.

Christmas time
Time to share our love
So come and join the tidings to the world
Christmas time
The best time of the year
Yes it's Christmas time

Brian felt like a child as he lie awake in the darkness. He had never been able to sleep on Christmas Eve as a kid because of the wonderful dreams of new toys that enchanted his mind. There had always been some new sports kit or racing car that played across the night every time he closed his eyes and he had never managed to quell that excitement enough for sleep.

Now he wasn’t excited at the prospect of receiving gifts, but of watching Sammy unwrap them all. He wanted him to be happy. He had tried so hard to give him a good home and to prove to everyone who doubted him that a Backstreet Boy could take care of a child.

And Sammy deserved a good home. He’d had such a terrible life and it was remarkable that Sammy had pulled through and become such a happy, bouncy, normal child. There had been one time when Brian had been certain that Sammy would change, after his mother’s death, but he had even survived that heartbreaking loss. He was so sweet and Brian wanted to give him everything he deserved in life.

He glanced across at the bed beside him and could see the small lump that was a sleeping Sammy. The child had been delighted when it had been announced that Brian would be sharing with him, seeing as there was no other spare room available and Harry told him that he had even helped to set the folding bed up. That might explain why Brian had found so many toys in it when he had pulled back the covers to crawl inside…

He looked at his watch and then back over at Sammy, wondering why he wasn’t awake yet. Nearly every child was awake at seven on Christmas day! Every child except Sammy it seemed. Brian was becoming impatient now. He had been awake most of the night waiting for morning and no it was here, he would have to wait even longer to Sammy’s happy face.

He heard a yawn from Sammy’s bed and smiled, expecting any minute to hear Sammy’s chirpy, wide-awake voice

But it didn’t come. Disappointed, Brian sat up and wondered if he was still asleep, but then he saw him stir slightly.

“Sammy, are you awake?” he asked.

For a moment there was silence and Brian was about to lie back down before he heard the faint voice.


Brian tilted his head, but Sammy was still lying down and facing the opposite way. Awkwardly he clambered out of bed and padded across the soft carpet in his bare feet until he reached the end of Sammy’s bed. He lie down beside Sammy and stroked his hair. “What’s wrong?” He could hear it in his vice that something wasn’t right, and Brian couldn’t have that on Christmas day. Everything had to be perfect.

“Nothing,” Sammy murmured, but still not turning around to face Brian.

“You could have woken me.”

“I didn’t want to wake you in case you…”

“In case what?”

“In case you got mad,” Sammy whispered.

Brian froze slightly, upset that Sammy could ever think such a thing of him. There had only been one time when Brian had been mad at Sammy and that had been for understandable reasons, a broken window was not something Brian was going to be overjoyed about and he knew he had not lost control or even yelled at him. It had only been an accident caused by carelessness. “Why would I be mad at you, huh?” he whispered.

“Mommy used to get mad if I woke her.”

Brian withdrew his hand for a moment to wipe away the few tears that were beginning to form in his eyes. He hated Sammy to remember these bad things and think them of them now, but he knew that it was only natural. He still hated the idea of Sammy dwelling on his awful past though.

“Sammy, I’m not your mother, I’m your dad… and things are different now. Your mother may have been mad with you sometimes, but she still loved you. She gave you Rocky didn’t she?” he said, finding Sammy’s favourite toy from the bed and using it to rub Sammy’s arm.

“Christmas,” Sammy murmured, reaching out to stroke Rocky.

“There you go then. She loved you. It was just difficult for her.”


Brian wondered how he could explain this to a six year old. Sammy hadn’t even understood his biological father Pete or why he had done what he did. How could Sammy understand that it was fear and poverty that had been the cause of his mother’s problems? “It’s hard for you to understand now. He life was just hard.”

“Is your life hard?” Sammy asked after a moment of assimilating the new information.

“No, that’s why I can look after you like I do and give you what you need. It was harder for your mother.”

Sammy turned over in bed to stare at Brian with his blue, innocent eyes. It would be a few years before he truly understood everything in his life, but by then he might have forgotten everything. The brain always tries to write over traumatic experiences and bury them deep down in the mind. Brian would just have to make sure that he explained it all to Sammy one day.

Sammy suddenly reached out and wrapped his arms about Brian. Brian smiled as he held him close and kissed him on the head.

“I’m so glad you here,” Sammy said.

You and me together,
A sleigh ride in the park
A loving kiss straight from my heart

Snowflakes falling gently
The smell of chestnuts in the air
And the Christmas light that gleam across the sky
It's Christmas time

Sammy excitedly bounced down the stairs with Brian’s hand clasped tightly in his own. He felt much better now that he knew Brian wasn’t going to be mad at him. In a way he knew Brian wouldn’t hurt him, but sometimes he couldn’t help being a little scared as he remembered his life before… it was confusing as he tried to separate each life.

For now he wanted to forget about that and it did the second Brian flicked the sitting room light on. His blue eyes were wide and gasped as he saw the piles of brightly coloured parcels sitting under the Christmas tree.

Sammy smiled and hugged Brian in delight, hardly daring to believe the magic before his eyes.

“Santa’s been!” Brian whispered as he leant down beside Sammy.

“He doesn’t exist!” Sammy protested.

“Don’t say that or you’ll get coal for presents!”

“How did he get in?” Sammy asked. “No chimmuney!” He pointed at the blank wall of the sitting room with it’s absence of a fireplace.

Brian stuck his tongue out. “Smarty pants, but he does exist!”

“Can I open presents?” Sammy asked, deciding that there was more important things than Santa to be dealt with.

“What else is Christmas for?”

“Yay yay!” Sammy bounced over to the tree and knelt down upon the carpet, for a moment merely content to stare in awe at the presents.

“Why don’t you save the ones from your nana for when she comes down?” Brian suggested.

“Okay,” Sammy replied, happy to watch the presents before him a little while longer.

Brian handed Sammy a small pile of parcels wrapped in metallic blue paper that shimmered when the light overhead caught it. “These are from me,” he said, placing them in front of Sammy.

“Thank you!” Sammy said, giving Brian a big hug.

“Open them!” Brian said, disentangling himself from Sammy and watching him with shining eyes.

Sammy reached for the nearest present and began to tear at the paper, wondering what lay beyond the sparkles. He grinned as he pulled a big, blue furry bundle free. “Stitch!” he cried. “You got him!” He hugged the stuffed Walt Disney Stitch close to him, just as he had done that day he had seen him in the shop. Now he didn’t have the disappointment of leaving him behind on the shelf because Stitch was now Sammy’s.

“I told you you’d cuddle one again!” Brian said. He handed Sammy another present, box shaped this time. “Open.”

Sammy giggled and gave Stitch over to Brian to take over the cuddling before he set about the second parcel, which turned out to be a bright orange truck.

“Thank you!” Sammy said as he stared at the box.

“How did I know that you two would be the first one’s up?” a voice asked suddenly.

Sammy and Brian both glanced up to see Jackie, Brian’s mother, staring down at them from the stairs, a twinkle in her eyes as she saw them both sat beneath the Christmas tree.

“Stitch!” Sammy said, waving his new toy at her and smiling.

Jackie quietly joined them by the tree and hugged her adopted grandson close to her. “Why don’t you open the others as well honey?”

Christmas time,
Time to share our live
So come and join the tidings to the world
Christmas time
The best time of the year
Yes it's Christmas time

“You two are both like little kids, you know that?” Harry said grinning down at Brian as he and Sammy raced toy cars across the carpet.

“I am a kid,” Sammy replied as he drove the remote control car around the Christmas tree.

“Brian’s as bad as you are!”

Brian had his teeth clenched down on his lip as he fought to steer the truck after Sammy’s vibrant yellow car. He was barely listening to his brother as he deeply sank himself into the land of car racing.

“Beat you!” Sammy said, sticking his tongue out as his car reached the agreed ending point.

“It’s not my fault I can’t steer it!” Brian replied, playfully pushing Sammy. “And you cheated by taking a shortcut!”

“Did not!”

“Did too!”

“Did not!”

“Did too!” Sammy pulled Sammy onto his lap and tilted him so that he was fully in his arms before he began a tickling attack causing Sammy to squeal.

“You’re so cruel to that poor kid!” Harry said as he jiggled his daughter on his knee, much to her delight.

“Cruel!” Sammy echoed.

“Because you’re a meanie!” Brian shot back, crossing his eyes and watching as Sammy began to chuckle.

Sammy crawled off of his lap and seized the big, child’s remote control to begin steering the car again. “Race again?”

“He’ll beat you,” Harry warned Brian.

“He will not!” Brian replied, grabbing the other control. “Let’s make it more interesting shall we?” He reached out and plucked Sammy’s Stitch from the couch. “Whoever wins get the Stitch!”

“No! He mine!” Sammy said, dropping the controller and racing to rescue Stitch from Brian.

“Ha, I get a head start now!” Brian said, driving his truck past the starting point.

“Cheat!” Sammy said, before bashing him over the head with Stitch.


Harry grinned from the couch. “That serves you right, Brian!”

Do you remember
When everything felt so right
When I held you close to me

Do you remember
Those cold, Christmas nights
When we saw the world in harmony

Sammy smiled happily as he guided the toy truck across the bumpy terrain of the carpet, trying not to jolt the teddy he had placed atop of it.

Sammy waddled out of the room with his new teddy tucked beneath his arm and bounced down the staircase and into the lounge where the beautiful Christmas tree proudly stood.

He smiled as his toes sank into the thick, fluffy rug in front of the television. He loved this house. Here he was safe and loved. Pattered over to the kitchen.

Harry and his wife were both playing with their baby daughter Samantha.

Sammy peered around the door but did not see the person he was looking for and so ventured into the kitchen instead. As soon as he pushed the door open, he was met by the smell of Christmas dinner and a warm mist of steam.

The silver radio on the window sill was playing Christmas tunes and Brian was singing along with them while he chopped up vegetables and threw them into a saucepan.

Sammy sat down on his small stool by the table and made his new toy dance to the music.

Sammy watched the nearest bubbling pot curiously as a few drops of water began to dribble down the side of it. He stood up and approached the pot, his eyes still watching the bubbles furiously popping and reforming within the saucepan. Eagerly he stretched out a hand to reach the water…


Sammy suddenly found himself seized about the waist by Brian and dragged away from the pot. Brian swung him around and placed him on the table, clutching his hands and inspecting them closely.

"Did you burn yourself?" he asked anxiously.

Sammy shook his head, confused.

Brian clasped his hands gently and played with his fingers. "Sammy, that saucepan was hot. You could have hurt yourself."

"I wanted to play with the bubbles," Sammy replied.

Brian picked Sammy's stool up and placed it beneath the sink before scooping Sammy up and depositing him upon it. Sammy peered over the edge of the sink while Brian turned the faucet and then squirted some thick, pink liquid into the running water.

"Bubbles!" Sammy squealed in delight as he saw clear, rainbow coloured bubbles appear and begin to cluster together in big, foamy puffs.

"You play with those bubbles," Brian said. "Just don't get them all over the floor!"

Sammy happily pushed his hands into the warm water and then pulled them out to see all of the foam that had stuck to his fingers. He laughed as he clapped his hands and watched as the foam spurted off and sprayed the window - as well as Brian.

"Hey, watch it!" Brian said playfully throwing a tea towel at Sammy.

Sammy laughed again and stuck his tongue out at Brian.

"Right, you asked for it!" Brian suddenly leapt forward and plunged his hands hard into the water to send up a great wave of water that successfully soaked Sammy and formed a large puddle on the floor.

"No!" Sammy squeaked as Brian wrapped his wet arms about him

"You wanna get me wet, huh? Well, I'll show you!"

Suddenly there was an angry hiss from a saucepan behind him. Both of them spun around and Sammy watched as Brian's face filled with mock horror as he saw the bubbles joyfully escaping from the pot.

"Aargh! No!" Brian said, realising Sammy to salvage the boiling saucepan while Sammy still giggled.

Christmas time
Time to share our love
So come and join the tidings to the world
Christmas time
The best time of the year
Yes it's Christmas time

Brian loved to see Sammy looking so happy as he sat beside the boy at the dinner table. He had gathered al of the toys from the Christmas crackers they had pulled after dinner and had begun to play with them all upon the tablecloth.

The day had turned out well and Sammy had seemed to e overjoyed with every second of it and Brian was thrilled that he had enjoyed his first Christmas with the Littrell clan. It wouldn’t be the last either; he had every other year to spend it with him.

He glanced out of the window and saw that the snow had ceased it’s powdery shower and now lie peacefully upon the ground. Even God seemed to know how important it was that Sammy had a good day because he had blessed them with snow for the first time in… since Brian could remember. It was very unusual for them to have snow down here.

“It won’t last long,” Harry said. “It’s not cold enough and it’s already starting to melt.”

“It’s still pretty though,” Brian replied.

“I’m going to clear up now,” Jackie announced suddenly as she stood up to collect in the empty dinner plates.

“I’ll help you,” Brian offered.

“After the mess you made earlier? I think not! Harold can help me.” She placed the plates in her husband’s surprised hands before seizing hold of the empty glasses upon the table and striding out to the kitchen.

“Me?” Harold spluttered.

“You heard her, dad!” Harry said grinning as he stood up beside his wife to help her with their tiny daughter.

“Do you need a hand?” Brian asked politely as his father struggled to hold all the plates in one hand and his glass in the other.

“No, no, I’m fine. Oops,” he said as a plate tumbled to the floor.

“Harold!” Jackie’s voice screeched from the kitchen.

Brian laughed at the mock expression of terror that appeared upon his father’s face before his mother arrived and began to berate her husband.

Brian smiled and turned to Sammy who was still calmly seated alone at the table with the puzzle he had won in the cracker. “Wanna go build a snowman before it all melts?”

Sammy nodded eagerly, the puzzle quickly forgotten now he thought of playing in the wet snow. “Yes!”

Brian picked him up and felt Sammy’s hands grip his back as he carried him to the hallway for his coat and gloves. He helped Sammy on with his warm clothes and then opened the door to lead them out into the Winter realm beyond.

Christmas time
Time to share our love
Come and join tidings to the world
Christmas time
Time to share our love
Come and join tidings to the world

Sammy yawned sleepily, his eyes still staring at the new toys upon his desk. He closed his eyes in bliss as he cuddled Rocky and Stitch close to him. Brian picked him up and gently placed him down upon the bed.

"You had fun, Sammy?" Brian asked, pulling back the covers for Sammy to clamber into bed.

Sammy nodded eagerly and yawned again as he snuggled his head against the soft pillows. Brian smiled at him and carefully tucked him into the bed along with his two toys.

"Can I stay up and play?" Sammy asked, deciding that the toys in front of him were too tempting.

"They'll still be there tomorrow," Brian assured him, laughing slightly as he stroked his face. "I think you're too tired to play right now."

"Toys will make me better," Sammy pointed out.

“Maybe, but Stitch and Rocky want to go to bed,” Brian said.

“No they don’t!” Sammy said playfully.

Brian gently kissed him on the face. "Night night, Sammy," he whispered.

Sammy sighed in defeat and closed his eyes. "Nighty nighty, daddy." He pressed his head against Stitch’s fur while he clasped Rocky in his hands. He was already asleep when Brian stepped out of the room.

Lyrics used from 'Christmas Time' by the Backstreet Boys.


Lyrics used from 'Christmas Time' by the Backstreet Boys.

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