Taeyeon burst into the cafe’s kitchen, waving her hands in the air.
“Yul, I have a great idea!” Taeyeon announced.
Yuri stopped the mixer and stared at her friend, wondering what the petite baker was up to.
“I’m all ears.”
“I’m thinking of having a Christmas party at our cafe! We can invite some of the under priviledged kids from the nearby Starlight Children’s Home and bring warmth to them in this festive season,” Taeyeon exclaimed excitedly, clapping her hands with glee.
“Sounds like a good idea. We can rope in our friends to help and bring joy to the kids. I’m all for it,” Yuri nodded in agreement.
“Me three!” Yoona yelled, popping her head into the kitchen.
“Great! Let me do the planning and I’ll update all of you.” With that, Taeyeon disappeared from the cafe and set off to plan for the party.
Three days later, Taeyeon called for a meeting at the cafe. She wanted to assign duties to her friends so that everyone could chip in to help make the party a sucess. Jessica and Tiffany were in charge of shopping for presents for the children. Yoona was in charge of decorations while Yuri and Taeyeon were in charge of food and drinks. They managed to rope in Khloe, Tiffany’s cousin, and her family to help too. Khloe was visiting Seoul with her family during the Christmas break. Her usual residence was in Los Angeles.
It was obvious Taeyeon knew her fiancee’s favourite activity and also what she was good at. Taeyeon shot her a wink as she read out the duties she planned and in return, she was awarded with a flying kiss from Jessica. Everyone groaned at the sight of the lovey-dovey couple who were showing off their public display of affection.
“That’s unfair, Taeng. I want to go shopping instead of being cooped up in the kitchen!” Yuri protested.
Taeyeon bit her lips and thought for a moment. “Alright then. Yul may go shopping. In exchange, Sica will stay in the kitchen to bake. I can’t be doing all the baking by myself.”
“What?!” Jessica blurted out in shock.
“Are you serious?” Tiffany added in amazement.
Yuri pretended to sulk. “Okay, okay. For the sake of everyone’s health, I’ll stay in the kitchen to prepare the food while Sica goes shopping.”
Everyone laughed heartily at Yuri’s reply.
On the actual day of the party
Yoona and Khloe were busy putting up Christmas decorations in the cafe. They had just finished setting up the Christmas tree in the dining area. Yoona flipped the switch on and the running LED colourful lights lit up the beautifully decorated tree.
“It sure feels like Christmas right now,” Yoona said.
“Yes it does. I have a feeling it’s going to be an awesome party.”
“I can’t wait!”
Yoona opened a bag and pulled out numerous Christmas stockings. Yoona, Khloe and Eunji filled the stockings with various candies and cookies. They were meant as gifts for the under priviledged children. Khloe got Minah and Eunji to help prepare for the party, hoping to instill the spirit of giving in her daughters.
Minah was assigned kitchen duties since she had interest in baking and was older. Taeyeon was putting a wire rack filled with star-shaped cookies on the table. She handed a small silicon spatula to Minah and taught her how to spread the different coloured icing on the cookies. There were pink, blue, white and purple. Minah suggested putting edible silver balls to add a sparkling effect on the cookies. She was praised by Taeyeon for being creative.
At the other end of the table, Yuri was busy making reindeers out of fondant. She wanted to add a Christmas feel to the red velvet cake she baked. She also made some snowman figurines and was planning to add them to the cake as well.
Meanwhile, Taeyeon was carefully skewering mashmallows together on a cocktail stick, trying to make a snowman. She added eyes and a smiley face using chocolate sauce, and added a little red ribbon around the snowman’s neck as a scarf. As a finishing touch, she dusted the bottom of each glass jar with icing sugar before carefully lowering the snowman into each jar. The final product was an edible snow globe, something which Taeyeon believed the children would enjoy.
Minah brought out her decorated star-shaped cookies to the dining area of the cafe. Khloe was proud of her elder daughter’s efforts and was beaming from ear to ear. They took turns to hang each cookie onto the tree as part of the decorations.
Out of the blue, Minah heard a crunch and was upset when she saw her younger sister Eunji munching on a cookie she decorated. She was about to burst into tears when her mother came over to comfort her.
“Minah ya, it’s alright. There’re many more cookies in the kitchen. You should have one too. You decorated it and deserve to have a cookie as a reward,” Khloe said as she hugged her daughter.
Yoona picked a cookie off the tray and handed it to Minah. She was delighted to see a smile back on the little girl’s face again.
A few moments later, Jessica, Tiffany and Khloe’s husband arrived at the cafe. They unloaded the nicely wrapped presents and placed them under the Christmas tree. Yuri and Yoona helped Tiffany unload the food from the car. The smell of roast turkey, honey baked ribs and cajun flavoured fried chicken wings filled the cafe. Everyone got busy setting up the food on the table, leaving a space for the Christmas goodies which Taeyeon and Yuri had been baking.
Taeyeon was engrossed in adding chocolate buttons to her gingerbread cookies and didn’t realised Jessica was standing behind her. It wasn’t until she felt something on her head that she looked up and met Jessica eye to eye.
Lifting her hand to touch her head, Taeyeon discovered Jessica had placed a hairband with reindeer antlers on her head.
Jessica poked Taeyeon’s nose with her finger that was dipped in cherry sauce. As a result, there was a red blob on the baker’s nose.
“Merry Christmas, Taengdolph!” Jessica teased, pinching Taeyeon’s cheeks.
Taeyeon stuck out her tongue at Jessica and wagged her finger at her playfully. “No presents from Santa Claus since you’ve been naughty today.”
“Unless I get a kiss here, here and here.” Taeyeon pointed at her forehead, nose and lips.
“There’re so many people here!” Jessica pouted.
“Jess, come here to help us!” Tiffany yelled. She saw the earlier exchange and didn’t want the couple to waste time flirting with each other as the children were due to arrive soon.
Two hours later, ten children and three adults from the children’s home arrived. They received a warm welcome from the team at the cafe. The children were handed a stocking and most of them couldn’t contain their excitement as they opened the stocking to find candies and cookies. They were smiling as bright as the summer sun and it was a heartwarming scene.
Everyone tucked into a sumptuous Christmas feast while Christmas carols played in the background. Yoona was busy taking photos of the happy children who rarely had a chance to celebrate Christmas in such a fancy way. Yuri and Tiffany helped to put hairbands with reindeer antlers or Santa hats on the children who came.
As everyone was busy chatting or eating, Jessica suddenly noticed Taeyeon was missing. She went into the kitchen to look for her but she wasn’t there. She searched among the guests but still unable to find her.
“What’s wrong?” Tiffany asked, spotting her friend’s worried expression.
“Do you know where Taeyeon went?”
“Maybe she went to the washroom?”
“She’s gone for some time.”
Tiffany patted Jessica’s back. “Perhaps she has a stomachache. Don’t worry so much. She wouldn’t go missing.”
Suddenly, a white figure appeared at the entrance of the cafe. Everyone looked up in surprise at the unexpected guest. It was Taeyeon dressed in a white suit that resembled Olaf, a snowman from the popular animation Frozen.
A chorus of ‘Olaf’ erupted among the children. Even the adults watched in amazement as some of the children got up from their seats and ran towards Taeyeon.
“Hello, I’m Olaf and I like warm hugs!” Taeyeon greeted merrily while waving and dancing at the entrance.
Taeyeon entered the cafe and stood in a corner as the children queued up orderly in a single file to hug the snowman. The adults joined in at the end of the queue, eager to participate in the fun as well.
Tiffany gave Jessica a nudge. “You should have dressed up as Elsa!”
Jessica shrugged her shoulders. “I didn’t know she bought this suit! I’m equally surprised as all of you. Yuri, do you know about this beforehand?”
A laugh escaped Yuri’s mouth. She was grinning as she gave a quick nod.
“Taeng wanted to give all of you a pleasant surprise today,” Yuri explained. “She wanted something different from the usual Santa Claus.”
Yuri was the first person in the queue among the adults. The pair of good friends enveloped each other in a hug, patting each other’s back and thanking each other for the good work and effort for the year.
Yoona kept gushing about how adorable Taeyeon looked and had to take a selca when it was her turn. When Jessica appeared in front of Taeyeon, Taeyeon literally pounced onto Jessica and wrapped her hands tightly around the consultant in a tight hug.
“Hello, I’m Taeyeon and I love warm hugs, especially from my baby.” Taeyeon stole a peck on Jessica’s cheek before releasing her.
Jessica punched Taeyeon lightly on her shoulders. “You got me worried when I couldn’t find you just now.”
“Aww…I’ll make it up to you…later tonight,” Taeyeon grinned mischeviously with a twinkle in her eyes.
“Everyone, let’s gather around and sing Christmas carols!” Tiffany called out, effectively breaking the couple’s display of affection.
Everyone huddled around; some of them were sitting down while others stood around. Yuri dimmed the lights and switched on the music player. Soon, Christmas music filled the cafe. All of them sang along to the familiar Christmas tunes. Some of them were holding hands with the person sitting next to them as they sang.
Taeyeon slipped an arm around Jessica’s waist and pulled the latter closer to her side. They were standing at the back, watching the happy faces in the cafe.
“Do you like what I’ve planned?” Taeyeon asked.
Jessica learned towards Taeyeon, the sides of their heads touching each other. “This is absolutely the best Christmas party I’ve ever attended. It is meaningful and heartwarming. Thank you, darling.”
Taeyeon turned around and pressed a kiss on Jessica’s temple. “Merry Christmas, baby. May we celebrate many more Christmas days together.”
= The End =
A/N: Merry Christmas everyone!! I hope you like this little Xmas story featuring the No Strings Attached couple. As a bonus, here’s an awesome Christmas fan edit of TaengSic by Pluto Parallax.
Download high resoultion image from here. http://i2.minus.com/igLxJK9NIkKM3.jpg