“Okay, you can’t laugh,” Pam called to Jim from her bathroom. “But I’m actually kind of proud of this costume.”
She swung the bathroom door open and shrugged her shoulders as Jim’s brows arched and his eyes shone with delight. “Well, what do you think?” she prodded.
Jim cinched up his tie to his neck and began rolling up his sleeves as he walked toward her. He put his hands on her waist and gave a little tug until her hips were flush with his. Adjusting the little hat on her head, he let out a soft chuckle.
“I think,” he said, kissing the very tip of her nose. “That you are the cutest elf I’ve ever seen.”
She bit her bottom lip through a smile, then kissed him quickly and twirled happily out of his arms to go make coffee for the both of them.
“You’re really not going to dress up?” she said as Jim turned the corner to enter the kitchen, his shoes in his hands. She stuck out her bottom lip. “It would be so cute if you were Buddy and I was Jovie from Elf. Best Christmas couple.”
He lifted his foot up on one of her kitchen chairs and started tying his shoe. “Pam, it’s bad enough they expect me to dress up at work for Halloween. I’m not dressing up as my favorite Christmas movie character for Michael’s ‘Cinema Christmas’ party or whatever he’s calling it. And I’m reeeally not wearing a pair of yellow tights into work.” He brought his foot to the floor and wrapped his arms around her from behind as she spread cream cheese on their bagels. He planted a kiss at the base of her neck. “I reserve those for you.”
She let out a laugh and turned around to hand him his travel mug full of coffee and bagel. They had their morning routine down now, whether they woke up at his place or hers, and the natural ease of it all made Pam feel downright blissful. Add in the fact that they were finally spending Christmas together as a couple, and not even Jim’s refusal to dress up could get her down.
“Fine,” she said curtly. “I’ll just assume you’re dressing up as Scrooge, you crank.”
Jim stuck his bagel in his mouth to slip his arms in his coat, then slung his bag over his shoulder. He took the bagel out and winked at her.
They entered the office together and Jim hung up his coat on the rack next to Pam’s desk. Kevin, dressed in khakis and a red sweater, was standing at reception.
“Hey, Kev,” he said cheerfully.
“Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal.”
Jim looked at him with a flat smile, pointing to the sweater. “Let me guess, Home Alone?”
Kevin grinned and nodded. “Get it? Because he’s Kevin.”
“Yep,” Jim nodded.
“And I’m Kevin.”
“Got it, Kev.”
“Who are you supposed to be?”
Jim stuck his hands in his pockets and looked down at his outfit, which was pretty much the same as what he wore every day, and shrugged.
“I’m the ghost of Christmas present.”
Just then, Jim heard Micheal emerge from his office behind them.
“Did someone say Buddy?”
Jim turned around and immediately felt the need to avert his eyes. Michael was standing in front of him in very tight yellow tights that left little up the imagination and a green coat lined with white fur. From behind the reception desk, Jim heard a slight intake of air and the quietest, “Oh no.”
Michael’s head whipped to reception to see his elf counterpart, whose eyes were now wide with concern upon realizing Michael was Buddy the elf and she was dressed as Buddy’s love interest.
“Well, well, well.” Michael pointed his finger from himself to Pam and back again a few times. “Look at that!” He walked over to her desk and leaned against it. “Hey Pam, remember that part in the movie where Jovie is showering and they sing together?” He laughs through his nose. “And she’s naked?”
Pam looks at him with furrowed brows and then immediately looks down at the papers in front of her. “No, Michael.”
“Oh c’mon!” He starts singing “Baby it’s Cold Outside” as Pam sighs and slowly pulls the elf hat off her head.
Jim shoots her a sympathetic (albeit amused) look and sits down at his desk, jumping when he catches sight of his desk mate.
“Yikes, Dwight. Who are you? Dead Santa?”
Dwight rolls his eyes and looks at Jim. “I’m Jack Skellington, idiot. Nightmare Before Christmas?”
Jim squints. “That’s a Halloween movie.”
“You would think that,” Dwight scoffs as he turns back to his computer. “It has ‘Christmas’ in the title, dummy.”
“But it also says ‘Before Christmas’. Obviously Halloween.”
Jim’s phone rang, interrupting their riveting debate and he picked up the receiver.
“Jim Halpert. Yes, Mr. Adams! Thanks for returning call, how’s the family?”
He continued listening, leaning back in his chair and scanning the room, observing his coworkers. He saw Stanley, doing the bare minimum by only wearing a red Rudolph nose. Then Andy, doing the complete opposite—dressed as a Grinch that rivaled Jim Carrey’s portrayal of him. Phyllis was Mrs. Clause, he assumed, Oscar was the Polar Express conductor, and Creed seemed to be dressed as the actual Scrooge, though one could never tell with a man like Creed.
And suddenly it became one of those moments where he realized what a circus he worked in. His boss was currently in skin-tight yellow pantyhose that he was sure were made for women, his coworkers were dressed up in full costumes on a random Thursday in December, and to top it off, all of it was being filmed on the daily.
“Sounds wonderful, Mr. Adams. I’ll be in touch with you beginning in the new year. Have a Merry Christmas, alright?” He placed the phone back in the base and swiveled his chair to look at Pam. He could tell she was deeply involved in a game of FreeCell, solely based in the way her right eyebrow dipped and her left forefinger tapped softly against her lips.
She was it. The reason he endured the crazy and the chaos. This stupid job brought him the love of his life and he found that it was much more bearable now that they could leave together and laugh about it all over a giant order of Pad Thai they decided to split while watching reruns of The West Wing.
He pushed himself up out of his chair and walked over to her, leaning his elbows against the desk. “So, when are you and Buddy tying the knot?” He smirked as he popped a green and red jellybean in his mouth, which was about as festive as he had allowed himself to be so far that day.
She tore her eyes from her screen to glare at him. “Hey, at least I dressed up.”
Jim gestured to his clothing. “What do you mean? I dressed up.”
“As who?” she droned sarcastically. “Every male lead in a Hallmark Christmas movie?”
He laughed. “Exactly. I can be a banker, a lawyer, a farmer, a small business owner...it’s a versatile costume.”
The corners of her mouth began to turn up and he felt like he could survive on just the sparkle in her eyes alone as she let a small laugh escape her lips.
“Hey,” he said, drumming his fingers on her desk. “I actually have a longer business meeting in Carbondale today. So I can’t keep you safe from Michael all day, but I promised him I’d be back for the party at 5:00.”
“Please don’t leave me,” she whispered, concern spreading across her face.
He leaned over the desk and gave her pouted lips a quick kiss. “I’ll make it up to you.”
And he planned to. He spent most of his otherwise monotonous morning plotting a way to show her just how much their first Christmas together meant to him. When lunchtime rolled around he strolled over to grab his coat and give his favorite elf a goodbye. Then he left, but not for a business meeting. Instead, he headed back to his apartment to make his plan come to life.
Pam’s eyes shot down to the clock in the corner of her computer screen. The party would be starting in 7 minutes and Jim still wasn’t back from his meeting. Luckily Michael had been too busy making paper snowflakes in his office all day that he didn’t bother her much about their matching costumes.
Angela, dressed as CindyLou Who, approached her desk. She sighed in Pam’s general direction. “Do you think Jim will be back soon? I would really like to start the party on time.”
Pam glanced at the door and then back to Angela. “Yeah, he said he’d be back by five. But I’m sure we can start without him.”
Angela just huffed and walked away, her carefully coiffed Whoville hair bouncing and she stomped back to accounting. Pam picked up her phone to send a text to Jim but before she could press send, he came through the door, seemingly out of breath.
Pam stood up and greeted him. “Well, if it isn’t bystander #4 in some general Christmas movie! I thought you were going to miss the party.”
Jim grinned and wrapped her in a hug. “That’s bystander #3, thank you very much. And I wouldn’t miss a Dunder Mifflin Christmas party! Well, I would. But then I would have one less story to tell our future kids about Mr. Michael Scott.”
Her heart caught and clung to the words “our future kids”, even though Jim said them so nonchalantly, and now suddenly she couldn’t do anything but imagine little curly-haired Jim Halperts running around her living room.
She was jostled out of her daydream when Angela clapped her hands twice loudly and ordered everyone into the conference room to begin the party. They shuffled in one by one, taking in the array of holiday movie-inspired foods. There were cookies and hot chocolate for The Polar Express, pizza for Home Alone, eggnog for Christmas Vacation, Phyllis’ famous meatloaf for Christmas Story, and then, at the end of the table, was Michael’s contribution: a heaping plate of cold spaghetti topped with maple syrup, pop tarts, and M&M’s.
“Kelly,” Toby said as he sauntered into the conference room, clad in a fuzzy pink bunny outfit. “That’s really not a work-appropriate costume…”
“Ugh, whatever, Toby. It’s technically after work hours anyway so I’ll do what I want. And I know Mean Girls isn’t technically a Christmas movie, but I’m wearing a Santa hat so...back off.”
Michael caught sight of Toby and scoffed. “What is that?! You know this is Christmas not Easter, right?”
Barely audible, Toby muttered with a shrug, “It’s A Christmas Story...it’s Ralphie…”
Michael waved his hand as if to dismiss Toby entirely and then told everyone to dish up before announcing that he would begin his one-man production of the first 30 minutes of Elf in t-minus 20 minutes.
Right before Michael began his skit, Jim leaned into Pam, and she thought she could smell the faint scent of pine on him.
“Hey, as much as I love being grossed out by Meredith’s legs in fishnet tights,” he motioned to Meredith who had obviously chosen to dress up as the infamous leg lamp from A Christmas Story, “and as much as I also love watching Michael perform his one-man shows...I have a better idea.”
Pam looked at him with a questioning brow and he smiled back at her.
“Just meet me on the side of the building in 10 minutes, okay?”
She squinted at him. “What do you have planned, Halpert?”
He gave her a quick peck on the cheek. “Trust me.”
She watched as he quietly slipped out of the conference room, snagging a snickerdoodle as he left. Glancing at her watch, clocking the time at 5:32, she told herself she would make sure she wouldn’t leave a minute past 5:42.
After what seemed like an hour rather than ten minutes, she was able to slip out of the room, Michael’s voice echoing behind her: “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear…”
She picked up her step, practically skipping with excited anticipation. Once she reached the bottom floor of the building, her walk had basically turned into a run as she swung the door open and headed around the building, pulling her coat tighter around her middle as the cold winter air kissed her cheeks.
A few weeks prior, Dwight had somehow convinced the owners of the business park to let him rent the side of the building to use as a Christmas Tree lot. All the trees were pretty bare and extremely overpriced, and Pam wasn’t sure he had sold a single one.
But now, as she turned the corner, she saw that each one had been strung with glimmering white lights. Despite their lack of branches and needles, she had to admit—the trees were a magical sight. She smiled, and slowly walked to the first tree, noticing a small glass ornament hanging on a branch. She turned it over in her hand and realized there was a small piece of paper stuck inside. Unhooking it from the branch, she opened the top and pulled the slip of paper out.
October 13th, 1998
Our first meeting. I think I knew that day that my life would never be the same.
She clutched the paper to her chest and bit her lip, grinning, and made her way to the next tree, adorned with a similar ornament.
April 17th, 1999
Our first prank. We somehow convinced Dwight that his belt had a government wire attached to it, resulting in him throwing it out the window and his pants at his ankles at least four times that day. *air high five*
Each tree after that contained similar messages, all reminding her of milestones in their relationship.
July 4th, 1999
The first time you called me Halpert.
Sometime in August, 2002
Our first “George” sighting. Glad he has been a constant all these years.
Pam laughed as she thought of the man they had lovingly named “George”. Without fail, they saw him out for a jog during nearly every single one of their conference room meetings. He had become this magical creature that seemed to be summoned with every “Conference room, 5 minutes!” that came out of Michael’s mouth.
She moved to the next few ornaments, unable to keep the smile off her face.
September 20th, 2005
Our (first) first kiss. You may have been drunk as hell, but that kiss at the Dundies kept me awake all night with a stupid grin on my face.
November 8th, 2005
Our first not-a-date. Swaying *is* dancing, by the way. Always will be.
May 11th, 2006
Our (second) first kiss. I know this one comes with some not-so-great memories too, but I will never forget that dress or the way your hands felt in my hair and how your lips felt on mine.
Pam took a deep breath after that one, reliving that moment in their dimly lit office, watching Jim walk away, feeling betrayed by her own mouth for saying the words she wasn’t thinking and pushing him away. She exhaled and walked to the next tree.
May 17th, 2007 (Part one)
The first time I realized I had been a complete idiot. I got your note in New York and decided I was done pretending it hadn’t always been you. Drove back and asked you to dinner. Best decision I’ve ever made.
May 17th, 2007 (Part two)
Our first definitely-a-date. You spilled your entire plate of spaghetti on your lap at dinner and spent the rest of the night wearing my baggy sweats and t-shirt and it’s a damn miracle I maintained some self control that night.
May 17th, 2007 (Part 3)
Our (third) first kiss. This one, Beesly. This is the one that counts the most. I have never been more sure of anything after kissing you on your doorstep that night. Best day of my life up until that point.
Now Pam felt a burning behind her eyes as she gathered the papers in her hand. She knew Jim had to be behind one of these trees and she couldn’t wait to throw her arms around him.
May 25th, 2007 (Part 1)
The first time you told me you loved me. I’m pretty sure my brain short circuited right there and I had smoke coming out of my ears. I had waited years to hear that, and when you finally said it...holy crap. So of course I immediately said it back and well...next paper…
May 25th, 2007 (Part 2...and 3...and 4…)
The first time we…*ahem*...you know. Nothing else to say other than, “Hot DAMN.” Better than anything I could have imagined.
Pam blushed and let out a small laugh. She walked to the last tree.
Our first Christmas together. I know I act like a Scrooge sometimes, but deep down I love pretty much everything about Christmas. But every year there was always something missing. Not this year.
Pam sniffed and wiped a tear from her cheek with her sleeve. She fanned the papers in her fingers and looked down at all these “firsts” Jim had written for her, when she heard the familiar sound of Jim clearing his throat. She looked up to see him looking at her, his eyes reflecting the white lights surrounding them. He gave her a half smile and extended his hand out to her. Pam took the ornament in his hand and looked up from it, questioning him with her eyes.
“This one is filled with empty papers. I don’t plan on going anywhere, Beesly. So I’m hoping we can keep filling these up with all our firsts, and…” he reached behind one of the trees and held up her most prized possession: her teapot. “...I thought we could put them in here.”
He lifted the lid and held the teapot out to her so she could put the slips of paper inside. “The first time I gave this to you, it was filled with everything that reminded me of us, even though we weren’t ‘us’ yet. So let’s keep filling it up with ‘us’. Okay?”
Pam brought her hand to her mouth, the tears flowing down her cheeks in quicker succession now. She took in a deep breath and wiped her face. “I’m going to need you to put that down so I can kiss you.”
Quickly, but delicately, Jim set the teapot on the ground and swept her up in a deep kiss. He brought his hands up through her hair and she clung to him so tightly it felt like there was no beginning or ending to either of them. They broke apart and she put her forehead to his. Their breath mingled together in the cold air as they smiled into each other’s eyes.
“How did you have time for this?” she asked in amazement.
Jim looked around and shrugged. “Oh, yeah, I didn’t actually have a work meeting today.”
Her mouth dropped open and then twisted up into a smile. “You liar!” But then her face grew more serious as the sweetness of the gesture hit her again. “Thank you,” she whispered and pulled him into her again, kissing his lips, which were once again freezing from the cold air.
“Merry Christmas, Pam,” he whispered into her hair as he pulled her into a tight hug.
“Merry Christmas, Jim.”
The two of them stood there sharing embraces and kisses until neither of them could feel their toes and agreed they should show their faces back at the party.
Standing in front of the front doors of the building, Jim jiggled the handle a few times, then turned to Pam with a worried expression.
She huffed out a breath. “So...how are we going to get inside?”
Jim ran a hand over his face and she saw an idea flash across his face. “The warehouse doors? Maybe they are open.”
They walked around to the warehouse, seeing that the main overhead doors were actually closed.
“Okay, but maybe they’re not locked?” Jim said over his shoulder as he walked closer. He squatted down and gripped the handle at the bottom and pulled upward. He let out a grunt of effort.
“I think...they’re just frozen...shu—“
The door broke from the ice and flew up, the handle flying directly into Jim’s nose. Pam gasped and ran over to him and he hunched over, blood running through his fingers and he groaned in pain. Pam pulled off her scarf and handed it to him to stop the bleeding. Grateful she thought to grab her purse, she led him to her car. She placed the teapot carefully in the back seat and helped him into the front seat. She got into her drivers seat herself and looked at him sympathetically. He glanced over the red-stained scarf and raised his eyebrows.
“Not how I saw that ending, if I’m being honest,” he said, his words muffled by the scarf.
She let out a laugh and pulled onto the street toward the hospital.
The pain seared through his whole face any time he so much as thought about his nose. Pam sat next to him filling out paperwork as he pressed her favorite scarf to his face, making a mental note to buy her a replacement for Christmas.
Pam handed the clipboard over to have him sign at the bottom and then placed it next to them on the side table. He winced as he placed the scarf back to his nose but the pain was soon forgotten as he felt Pam settle her head down on his shoulder as they waited for Jim’s name to be called.
“At least it’s warm in here,” she offered.
He leaned his head against hers. “I’m sorry,” he muttered pathetically.
He heard her let out a soft, breathy laugh through her nose and she looked up at him.
She sat up and rifled around in her purse, pulling out a pen and a gum wrapper. Turning to the table, she scribbled something on it and handed it to Jim. “For the teapot.”
He held it up and read it out loud. “December 23rd, 2007. First trip to the ER together.” Jim laughed, then groaned when the pain from laughing spread through his whole face.
They stood up to follow the nurse back to the exam room and he took Pam’s hand in his. No, this may not be one of the “firsts” he was thinking of when he gave her all those blank papers tonight, but as he felt her thumb rub circles on the back of his hand, he prayed there would be a million more “firsts” he could experience with her.
He glanced down at her scarf that he had successfully destroyed. All he could hope for was that the next “first” would involve a little less bleeding. But then he looked over at her and decided that even then it didn’t matter. Beggars can’t be choosers. And he’d choose her every time.
Set in Season 4!
I *believe* I was able to fit all 7 elements into this. You might have to tilt your head to the side and close one eye to see one or two of them, but they’re there!
Merry Christmas, friends!
I *believe* I was able to fit all 7 elements into this. You might have to tilt your head to the side and close one eye to see one or two of them, but they’re there!
Merry Christmas, friends!
Author's Chapter Notes:
I own nothing but my love for Jim and Pam and Christmas. Together? *chef’s kiss*
Chapter End Notes:
Thanks to the friends who gave me ideas and encouragement for this. And a really big thanks to the cheesy Christmas movie that I shamelessly borrowed one or two ideas from. You the real MVP.
WanderingWatchtower is the author of 21 other stories.
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This story is part of the series, Secret Santa Fic Exchange 2020. The next story in the series is Ideation.