Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “Carol of the Bells”… and a piece of original fiction by Yours Truly!

For some reason, whenever I hear this, a tale something like this runs through my mind…


Christmas Eve, A Year In the Near Future.

Santa Claus – Sinter Klaas, St. Nicholas – approaches the [pick an adversary country, preferably a godless and oppressive one like R_d Ch_ina] border, cruising at near his maximum operational altitude. Already the sophisticated Elven instruments on the dashboard of his sleigh can pick up the first brushes of their ACCM (Anti-Christmas Counter Measures), like the prickly whiskers of a restlessly slumbering, evil dragon.

They had been getting better, with each passing year. Last year, the unthinkable had happened: they had actually managed to exclude him from their airspace! Multiple probes had ended in failure, and the danger both to his increasingly disoriented and weakening reindeer, and to the undelivered presents intended for countless boys and girls, had compelled him to stop trying to penetrate their shields.

But that was then. This was now. The Elves had worked night and day for nearly a year to craft his newest sleigh: a Mark VI, the newest, best, and most powerful sleigh he has ever possessed.

A full moon shines down upon the earth below, as Santa calls to his reindeer for a last effort, takes the sleigh higher, higher… and then into a sweeping dive-roll that would have done a jet fighter proud, straightening out into a low-angle, sloping dive right for the defended perimeter. He can feel through his reins the heart the reindeer put into it, racing faster and faster through the night sky, driving relentlessly at the hostile border.

With his off-hand, Santa’s gloved fingers play across the controls, and around them a coruscating nimbus of Christmas magic takes form. Those who might glance up from below would see only an exceptionally bright meteor, with a teardrop shape and a tail like a comet, sparkling and flashing in crimson and argent.

On Dasher, on Dancer, on Prancer and Vixen! On Comet, on Cupid, on Donner and Blitzen! Now, Rudolph – FULL POWER!!!

A few moments, a deep breath… and the powerful Mark VI, surrounded by its protective nimbus, hits the ACCM perimeter like a thousand bolts of lightning. For one shuddering moment, in which time itself seems to stand still, the vile shields hold. Santa can feel, with senses beyond the merely human, as the malevolent dragon awakes… but awakes to a blinding flash of crimson-silver light, before which it recoils, helplessly…

And then they’re through, the defenses shattering, crumbling, falling away, the evil dragon dissipating with a raging, howling wail that fades to a whimper – and then, to nothingness.

And below them, millions of sleeping children stir happily in their slumbers, breathe a bit more deeply… smiles flit across their sleeping faces… a few of the more perceptive ones half-wake for a moment, then subside into peaceful rest, with visions of sugar-plums dancing in their heads.

This year, Christmas is coming.

 


Creative Commons License

This work of original fiction by Thomas H. Harbold is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND). Please click the link for more information.

Thanksgiving 1861 | The Southern Agrarian

Image result for confederate thanksgiving

Source: Thanksgiving 1861 – The Southern Agrarian

Stephen Clay McGeehee, of The Southern Agrarian, notes,

“During the Thanksgiving season we often hear that the first national Thanksgiving Proclamation was given by Abraham Lincoln in Washington, D.C. on October 3, 1863. What the northern history books fail to mention is that Lincoln, bowing to political pressure, copied the President of the Confederate States of America. Jefferson Davis actually had made the first national Proclamation of Thanksgiving two years earlier in Richmond, Virginia.”

Click to the link to read President Davis’ Thanksgiving Proclamation.

In fact, of course, the very first Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamation was issued by George Washington, on 3 October 1789 (see also here, for more background).

And the first Thanksgiving itself, on what would become the original 13 Colonies, later 13 States, was actually held in Virginia, at a place called the Berkeley Hundred, a year before the Pilgrims reached Plimouth (as it was called then)!

That was held on 4 December 1619. It was more about prayer than feasting – which may explain why it has not gotten the societal traction of the Pilgrim’s event – and the foods that were served were probably ham and oysters, not turkey and dressing.

Interesting history of this day, in any case!