There wasn’t a single celebration Regina looked forward to more than the Holiday Feast. The Forest turned cold, snow always fell, and for one whole day she got to see her entire family gathered in one place. Sometimes they took carriages out to different parts of the kingdom where her uncles and aunts lived, traveling the night before and spending the evening playing games with her Uncle Jorge and Uncle Juan while they waited for the rest of the family to arrive. Other times, the rest of the family came to the estate, which is what they had planned to do this year. There was always so much to do, so many people to talk to, and so much food to eat, it was wonderful!
And this year, she got to spend the holiday season with her sister.
This would be Zelena’s first introduction to the rest of the family, and Regina was bubbling over with excitement on her sibling’s behalf. They had been preparing for weeks now, hanging decorations, practicing dances, and above all else, helping Zelena with her Spanish. The rest of her father’s family almost always spoke to one another in the old language, and though Cora had insisted they speak English while Regina was young, the little girl had noticed her mother slipping back into her other tongue more often now. The only wrench in all of those matters was that Zelena had never spoken another language, so Regina had taken it upon herself (along with her mother and Zelena’s tutors, but they only got some of the credit) to help her sister prepare for speaking at the celebration.
Thinking about it kept her giddy all morning, and knowing that her family was to arrive soon made it even harder to keep calm. She was fidgety at the breakfast table, bouncing off the walls during her play time, and squirming in her seat as her mother did her hair.
“Does Zelena know that Uncle Juan isn’t married, Mother?” she asked quickly, “Or about Auntie Maria? Auntie Maria is the best. I bet she’ll play with us! Will Zelena and I have time to play with her?”