WAR FOR DECEMBER
Written By John S. Badger
LETTER FROM SANTA’S
I am ecstatic! We warriors of Christmas have succeeded yet again in convincing another grinch into saying “merry christmas” to celebrate Christmas during this season. The fool thought he could tell me “happy holidays” while I bought my presents and get away with it. “Happy holidays” has no place in the world. Clearly a ploy to appeal to the masses, instead of to me. This is exactly why we came overseas to defend. Now, Santa will definitely have to give me the newest iPhone for Christmas!
I am certain we will finally be able to soon say “Merry Christmas” without being persecuted. Putting “Christ” back in Christmas, with love.
LETTER FROM SANTA’S
I'm writing my last thoughts before my possible demise. I've given this battle my everything, and the end is near. Either I die in the glory of battle or I rise victorious. Neither option sounds much worse than the other. The grim opposition faces us with their misery mood bombs and bags of coal at every turn. As we try to slay them with "ho ho hos" of cheer and ginger snap slaps, they rain down on us with their sticks and devilish faces. Krampess's legion are a horrendous sight to behold, varying from hellish bat looking things to half man half goat. But have no fear, the joy of the season carries us forward! General Rudolf has been among our battalion the entire fight and he makes me proud every day. The elves are tireless in the face of the enemy and we keep our sharp chins high.
The ribbon nets you sent us have worked wonderfully, and the popcorn balls have fed many a hungry elf soldier. Your thoughtfulness has been providential for our cause.
My hopes to see your face again are what carries me forward, and of course, the joy of the season. Stay warm my love, and keep the chimney clear for my return.
LETTER FROM Krampess’s
We move at night, and lay low during the day. I haven’t slept but at two hour naps here and there. We have bivouacked in the forest, surrounded by barbed wire for protection. The sun keeps me awake at day, and the military keeps me awake at night. How we envy those on the lines at the North Pole, who can sleep midday. I’d take the cold over this any day.
Good news from the front lines though: In my last letter to you, I told you our yam cannons had failed to operate. Since then, they have finally been repaired. They’re fairly efficient at keeping the elves at bey. They had been sneaking closer.
I cannot count the battles I have partaken in. Rumors have it that there will be an extension before furlough. It may be a few months before we can sip proper eggnog together, while feasting on roast beast. Any fruitcake you find in the meantime that those pesky “charitable” elves sneak, don’t throw it out this time. The door upstairs lets in a draft, and we need to use the doorstop appropriately.
In all this time, I have thought nothing of home more than I have thought of you. I would very much like to marry you. The idea keeps my body moving forward.
LETTER FROM Krampess’s
I have recently been moved to the con here at NORAD. We are constantly monitoring the whereabouts of Santa Claus. Sometimes he vanishes, reappearing on another continent, only moments later. He doesn’t travel by timezone, as he used to do on Christmas Eve.
Everyone knows Santa can’t resist a plate of cookies and milk. So we set up a trap for the fat man. We almost got him too! As soon as he realized we had poured him one percent, he left without so much as touching a cookie. Lesson learned. I would say we should do it again with full fat, but we haven’t seen anything so luxurious since we got on the plane. We’re lucky to ever get milk. Oh, and now it’s all cow’s milk. May as well be white water. The goat milk dried up as soon as we joined the military. If you sent some powdered goats milk or chevre, I’d promise to share it among my friends here. The last round you sent me, I shared with __ who had saved crackers for a month for all of us to spread it on. What I wouldn’t give for a membership to the Jelly of the Month Club right now.
Sir, I am here to inform you that Operation Navidad was a success. With the help of the Spanish as well as their three kings, we were able to locate Santa, though there is a problem. We’ve pinpointed the outposts at Galdhøpiggen, the tallest mountain in Norway. Not only do they have a terrain advantage, we won't be able to do a full frontal attack without the risk of Ornament bombs dropping and creating an avalanche. An aerial strike from our own pronghorns won't be any good due to their anti-air, and the high altitude of the base. Petty Officer Jangles reported multiple personnel manning the outpost, from elves, ice giants, and gingerbread men. Our NORAD satellites also captured the Reindeer circling an area about 50Km from the outpost, we believe it is an underground enterece. The Spanish said they are willing to help with the assault, giving us Melchor and Gaspar, their best Zeppelins. They don't know about the anti-air but we believe they would cause a distraction long enough to have us go in with minimal casualties. We have candy cane cannons positioned below the mountain so in case Santa tries to book it, we could shoot him down. With your permission, we hope to commence Operation Ho Ho Ho.
I’ll never forget the chestnut shell fire. We move at night, laying low during the light of day. I cannot tell you where we are, as our letters get read by the officer. Don’t take unnecessary risks. About 1 am, we were barraged by artillery bombardment. I have been on practically every battlefield in the arctic.
Candy cane bayonetts, chestnut shells, glitter bombs, Marshmallow cannons, holly blade, Ornament Launcher, candy cig, Crossbows and their candy cane bolts Two front teeth. Hoolahoop, NORAD Krampess’s.
Wassail, yule logs, trees, fruit cake, lights, advent calendar, nutcrackers, snow globes, stockings, snow men, wreaths, holly, bows, wrapping paper, candy, gift bags, barbed wire, Artillery, grenades, rifles, tanks, pistol, rations, MREs, North Pole, homesick, polar express, POWs, bivouacking, weather outside frightful. Burgermeister Meisterburger, winter warlock, heat miser/snow miser, jack frost, dominick the donkey, frosty the snowman, the Kranks, hallmark, tiny christmas tree, Nokatomi Plaza, Toyland, the Pumpkin King, bells giving wings, Christmas Carol, gremlins, buddy the elf,
“The last line ‘I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams’ has a much deeper meaning than I could have attributed to it.”
“It used to be the most wonderful time of the year”
“Keep the change, ya filthy animal”
“I triple dog dare you”
“The best way to spread christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear”
“God bless us, every one”
“Whoever heard of a skinny santa?”
Dispatch from General Christopher Kringle, United States of Christmastime
Sent from the North Pole HQ
I speak to you tonight not as your president, not as your leader, but as your fellow soldier in the fight against this most festive of seasons. In these difficult times, we must remember that WE are the last sparkly, tinsel-covered line of defense against those who would take Christmas from us. They're out there, men. The Anti-Christmas Brigade. With their "winter breaks" and their "holiday parties" and their plain red non-Christmassy Starbucks cups! They're coming into your house, they're stealing all your trees and your stockings and your presents just like the Grinch. They're out there stalking our wildernesses like the Abominable Snowman. They're chasing your children down on their way to school like those bullies in A Christmas Story, and they're coming to empty their sewage tanks in your yard like Cousin Eddie! WE CANNOT LET THESE HUMBUGS WIN! What's next, men? The Attack on Easter? The Battle for Birthdays? The Struggle for St. Patrick's Day? NO MORE! Boys, it's time to deck THEIR halls and make them hear those herald angels sing! So pick up your official Red Ryder, carbine action, 200-shot, range model air rifles with a compass in the stock and the thing that tells time, and get ready to shoot THEIR eyes out! Troops, let's sing a slaying song tonight! It's beginning to look a lot like CHRISTMAS!
My Dearest Carol,
Another day passes, much like the one before it. But it feels darker than the last. Week after week, month after month. Each darker than the one prior.
I remember the posters my highest officials had me write of a hopeful war. A war that would inspire Christmas cheer in all the world. Words like “They're coming into your house, they're stealing all your trees and your stockings and your presents just like the Grinch.” Hyperbole necessary to light the fire that led to this. The elves and I have worked a hundred years for one night a year when our goods are spread among all the good little girls and boys. We have been losing our hold on the month, to every other holiday that encroaches our territory. I labor to spread cheer, but this war has spread nothing more than misery. Krampess and his armies are chiseling at our numbers. Our stockpiles are dwindling. We haven’t had eggnog in a countless number of months. So far, I have lost 200 pounds. The strenuous pace we are constantly at, one step forward, two steps back, has increased my appetite for your homemade cookies, but I still lose the weight.
This is your call to arms, Dark Elves and Gremlins!
Our right to anything other than Christmas is in jeopardy. Santa’s forces have been taking our traditions and claiming them for themselves for too long. Our offerings of coal to the naughty ones have consistently been replaced by gadgets and doodads the kids do not deserve by their parents in protest to our discipline. Our songs have been suppressed, only replaced by the likes of Bing Crosby and Josh Groban. But what about Winter Solstice? Are we not to celebrate the annual day of darkness? Are we not in the month of Boxing Day, Cookie Day, Festivus, Cotton Candy Day, Human Rights Day, Maple Syrup Day, Kwanzaa, Cupcake Day, Ugly Sweater Day, Bacon Day, Hannukah, Hogmanay, and who could forget Emo day? All this has been overshadowed by (sneeringly) Christmas. Not this year, men and women. Not this year. We are taking up arms against Chris Kringle and his troops. We shall rain coal upon their heads. We will flog them with our bundles of birch. We shall not rest until the day when we are once again allowed to observe Yule. We have been oppressed far too long, and we will conquer our enemies, making their holiday merely equal to the others. “Happy Holidays” will no longer be shot down by “Merry Christmas.” We are overdue for a revolution.
General of the Armies,
I fear for our cause, Bergermeister Meisterberger. We have been at this war for years now, and no one seems to wane on their aggressions against the month of December in favor of Christmas. Our troops have been stifled time and time again. They have been flanked from every angle on every front. We have accomplished minor victories in the front lines in Europe, but not much else. Our men stay the course, but we have lost the national funding due to red tape, and a diminished fervor to win by the suits in Archeron. My forces eat gruel, and go to battle using Saint Nick’s own weapons against them due to the lack of weapons on our own side. We cannot expect every Christmas elf to shoot their own eyes out. Even my men seek a means to bathe- MY men! We pride ourselves in our filth, but even this has become too much to bear.
We didn’t wage this war for glory, we waged war for equality of December’s days. Not every December day had to be in relation to the 25th, waiting for its arrival, or saddened by its departure. We ache for normality. We have fought tirelessly throughout the entire year, even summer. This is not natural. We hunger for food. I have even heard rumors of our ranks resorting to fruitcake on the occasional bout of depression and senility. If this happens among your troops, do not hesitate to send them to the brig, and immediately court marshall them. This mental state would be a virus, and catastrophic to the disposition of those around them.
I write this to you in confidence, as I have done nothing less than hold a high head among our officers and soldiers. They see nothing but an attitude to win from me. When we finally return home from war, our wives and husbands won’t recognize us. We have lost lustre, and have darkened hearts. The war has worn heavy on our nation’s soul.
This letter is a warning to you, as your accomplishments have been great in this endeavor. You are one of the few who have pulled through. Under no circumstance, are you to be relenting in the advancement against the enemy.
Fight for equality, fight for your wife, and fight. Fight for me.
General of the Armies,
LETTER FROM Krampess’s
Master Sergeant Skullfury,
Our regiment battled these past three days against Santa’s short infantry. On the 31st floor of Nokatomi Plaza, was their regional headquarters. Getting entrance into the plaza wasn’t too difficult. We took out the MPs at the front desk on the main level, and then went up from there, taking out power and communications. Fortunately, our hooves are quite capable of walking over broken glass with no problem. We overtook the facility, and have retrieved classified documents, as well as the enclosed decoding mechanism. Please forward this package on to the counterintelligence unit.
LETTER FROM SANTA’S
Four months have now passed, and the wounded soldiers haven’t slowed down. The casualties of war have only increased, including bystanders who were too close to nearby minty artillery fire. I fear for not only these, but for the thousands I know that are wounded and have perished elsewhere. The doctors are removing mint shrapnel from the wounded around the clock. I fear that our fight for Christmas may be lost. The nation of Krampess is unrelenting. Your care package of fruit cake was very much appreciated. I shared it with some of the other nurses here. Packages and letters come in short supply, as Krampess’s armies take down our re-supplies before they can arrive. Please don’t lose heart as I have, but pray for us to regain what little hope we had.
LETTER FROM SANTA’s
December 5th marks another day of opening the advent calendar you sent me. I have long since eaten all the chocolates that had been there before, but have replaced them with nuts or dried berries from the granola we were rationed last month. I didn’t eat all the chocolates, to be quite frank. Some of my comrades found where I had the calendar hidden, and left me only the candy for the 26th. I will savor this Boxing Day like no other before. Quite fitting, if you think about it.
Three days ago, we took the Polar Express to Nunavut, and have since ridden northward to flank Krampess’s infantry. The P.E. has run out of hot chocolate, as one might suspect. But, we were given Ovaltine. Some of the men had some. Poor souls. As I write this, they are still sitting on their latrines. The rest of us heated water on makeshift stoves, and mixed it with chocolate syrup.
We’ll win this war. I guarantee it.
Dear Cinnamon Bustleplum
At first, we didn’t mind the “pa-rum-pa-pum-pum-pum.” It was inspirational. At first. Then endearing. Then we became disinterested. Then it became irritating. Finally, it got to the point where we all took the chalkboards from our briefing rooms, and scraped them with our fingernails to drown out the noise. Constant... Incessant... Non... stop. The kid couldn’t be bothered with learning another rhythm. No. Earplugs can’t silence the bass. Death would be a sweet release from the grasp of the little drummer boy.
As I write this- at this very moment, another elf took the bells off one of the reindeer, and is harmonizing with the drum. And another drummer, clearly far more skilled is joining in. Even a French horn is accompanying them! Quite the band has been drummed up, pardon the pun. I had no idea the army had handbells, and yet a whole table of bells and their players have joined in. What a delight! The drummer boy isn’t so bad in context. Constant, and everyone is right in step with him. Oh Cinnamon, how I wish you could witness this beautiful event. Hopefully the officers don’t come around and realize they’re playing Jingle Bell Rock. That is not North Pole approved music.
I know I made this whole letter about music, but honestly, we’re just stationed here, with very little going on. I hear reports of activity going on a hundred or so miles to our south, but not much else is going on. We’re just protecting this bridge. I’ve counted every stone that makes the west side of it. Twice. 4,572. Give or take 11. Needless to say, we’re getting antsy.
LETTER FROM SANTA’S
Jack Frost has finally shown up. About time too. We don’t take kindly to the heat as you know. I swear he shows up once a year to play around with snowballs, and then goes on his merry way. He is no help. He cheats too, but we don’t mind. Those slush balls with a couple pebbles wreak havoc on the nutcrackers across the way. But later, the Heat Miser returns. Just like your mother’s mincemeat pie, Frost’s efforts prove fruitless. Speaking of your mother...
Your mother wrote to me, and I learned that Snappy’s dog bit the neighbor kid on the posterior. This cannot go unpunished. Since so much time has passed, the dog will not understand the punishment. My suggestion is that her treats be held too high in the pantry, so that Snappy will not be able to reach them and give them to her. Snappy will know that the both of them are being punished for the actions of his dog. If this persists, we will need to find a home down south at your aunt’s farm. She has volunteered to take her on occasion.
The POWs sit in their cages, and I was put on night duty to watch them. They’re more active at night, bustling like children with their treasures in Silver Bells. We have I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus on repeat for 30 hours straight in their direction throughout the day. This Psy Ops gig isn’t too bad, assuming Pinecone hasn’t forgotten the earplugs again. It got bad that one day.
My father spoke of war like it had been brutal. I am finding it is no worse than my upbringing. I came more than prepared for it. I have quickly been promoted two ranks due to my skills in combat. This will be a cinch. I’ll be home before you can say “Marshmallow Rice Treats.”
LETTER FROM Krampess’S
My Beautiful Therlanna,
Exciting news from the front! This morning, I heard cheers from our ranks, and I just had to see what the commotion was all about. In front of our saluting troops, I saw her! Her horns stuck above our heads. Krampess walked within feet of me. I saw her hooves, horns, and an elbow! She came to inspire us, giving us the will to go on, despite the muck and mire we stood in. I don’t know that another day without her presence, we would have the wherewithal to move forward. Before you start getting jelly: She’s beautiful, but I would never think of her any more attractive than you. I think of you often, and look forward to returning to your warm embrace.
We had a small firefight with the Christmas elven cavalry yesterday on 34th street. I think we both surprised the other, but not many casualties on either side were had. It’s a miracle more weren’t lost. Sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of why we’re fighting, but I don’t forget why I fight though. You and baby
I must conclude this letter in haste. I think we’re getting a new assignment. But, my darling, please always remember me, and remember the cause.
Mommy and Daddy,
I got your letter just now, and couldn’t wait to respond. I have had such a hard week, but your letter made me feel like I’m in the 9th realm of Sheoul. Such a wonderful feeling. I lost a friend of mine to yet more marshmallow cannon fire. We have become jaded by now, not socializing with the new recruits. I can’t remember the last time I shared an MRE with one. Who knows if either of us will be standing next week. As for me, I need to sustain myself, and keep my strength so I can return to your arms.
I have been trained to take the ornament launcher, due to the position having been “vacated” due to the Krampess’s artillery fire. It’s a weird feeling of realizing this is legalized murder. We never did this before the war. We only ever took the children from their beds to our home, showed them how much warmer and delightful we have it, while they laughed the whole time. I presume it’s laughter. Humans laugh so weirdly. Almost like our war craies. And then we’d drop them back off in their beds.
For whatever reason, there was a hazard bonus we were given in person. I guess Ebenezer unclinched his tight fist. I’ve enclosed it in this envelope, as you already know. You should get each other something nice. And, keep the change ya filthy animals.
As Always, Your Daughter,
LETTER FROM Krampess’S
My Dearest Padraca,
Hunkered down in my frozen, shallow trench which very well may act as my grave moments from now, I write you this letter. Candy cae spears whistle overhead. Ornament grenades explode hither and yon. I can hear Santa taunting us over the loudspeakers across the way. Reindeer carpet bomb fecal matter, scattering our flanks. My only solace is when shots of “bah humbug” fire from our ranks, and the opposing side loses heart if only for a moment.
At the start of the war, we were under the impression that Saint Nick was just that- a saint. They flew overhead, and would drop wrapped presents over us. We thought a peace treaty had been signed just after we were deployed unbeknownst to us. Explosions rocked our lines. The presents were bombs, waiting to explode upon opening. Fortunately for me, I read the note on mine that read “Do not open until December 25th.” My mother taught me well. I guess some of our ranks don’t know patience like me. I hid mine under my bunk, and will await to find out what mine has on Christmas Day, as per the note’s instructions.
The war continues to wear heavily on my body, and my soul.
Your Baby Daddy,
LETTER FROM SANTA’S
I am loving being a part of this war. I haven’t met battle yet, but training was delightful. Our candy rations were limited to one every other day, but I know we’re training to become lean, mean, and fighting machines. The thought of going up against Krampess and her armies sometimes frightens me. As the grenadier, I feel this is my calling. A chestnut popper in hand feels all too familiar. My regiment is headed off to battle later this week.
I met a recruit who is the son of Missus Wrinklerock from your sewing circle. Such a small world. Oh. His name is Salamis. Maybe she talked about him? I only mention him since Baby it’s Cold Outside.
Anywhooo. As I write this, Christmas is right around the corner. Save some pumpkin pie for me, since I’ll be headed home before you know it. Say, what’s in this drink?
Elf Private 1st Class, Esme.
LETTER FROM SANTA’S
I have never had a candy cane bayonet used against me. Not until yesterday, that is. The brutes found some of our weapons somewhere, and used them against us. Fortunately, your big sister is quite capable. Please don’t tell mother of these close-encounters. I fear she’ll get even more worried than she already is.
To be honest, the idea of pulling a holly leaf against the neck of an imp, excites me. I found one left on the field after we overtook the encampment last week. I have it stashed secretly. Any contraband we can keep from the eyes of our ranking officers makes this war more interesting.
Another frigid night, we were given nice hot wassail. Those little daily things we overlooked at home, now thrill us on a monthly basis.