Christmas Day is only a day away and all across America, people are getting ready for the big event. Scarcely a house can be found where a stocking filled with lamb’s blood doesn’t hang over the fireplace, and everyone who can will keep those fires burning all the night.
“I knew a family that ran out of wood just before morning in ‘04,” says Whitefish, MO resident Christine Rosenberg. She is silent for a moment. “They were good people,” she says, a tear in her eye. “The poor children...” Local businesses always look forward to the profits Christmas brings. “Not everyone can slaughter their own bleating lamb to blood the house,” says Redmond, WA butcher Paul French, “and that’s okay. It takes gumption the average man ain’t got in this day an’ age.” He laughs, and hooks his thumbs in his suspenders. “That’s what French & Sons’ is here for, city boy.”
It’s easy to take for granted the many luxuries of a 21st-century Christmas. But doctors at the Sacred Heart Hospital in Eugene, OR still remember what it was like in the bad old days.
“Kids today never had to grow up before we had melarsoprol,” said Dr. Dennis Krahe, 59, a physician at Sacred Heart. “But I remember what it was like cowering under the the holly-branches and listening to my brother scream when the Little Helpers took him away.” He shakes his head. “He’d been naughty, you see.”
“Hopefully, they let him die eventually,” he adds with a weak laugh.
Melarsoprol, also known to doctors by the whimsical moniker “arsenic in antifreeze,” is used to treat a variety of diseases such as West African sleeping sickness, the Hallelujah Virus, Chagas disease, and cube poisoning. And as was discovered in 1984, a concentrated dose offers almost complete protection from Santa’s Little Helpers.
The Joint Christmas Defense Force says it’s ready to take command of the world’s nuclear-armed militaries to coordinate the North Pole containment plan. “I’m not gonna lie, it always gets a little touch-and-go for a while,” said Arch-General Horace the Undying. “But in the last twenty years the only thing that’s made it out of the Pole in one piece is a couple spores in 2012 and a two-megaton air-to-air missile took care of that just fine. I’m confident in our ability to keep Santa -” he pauses to make the sign of the JCDF aquila “- occupied.”
Most Americans associate the JCDF with the modern era of nuclear and ontological weapons of mass destruction, but in reality they’ve been around almost as long as the Caroler Corps. Even as early as 1821, references to the JCDF’s rites and sigils can be found in esoteric texts all across the world.
“We don’t like to brag,” says Arch-General Horace, “but the JCDF has been instrumental in keeping Christmas at bay since the Before Times.”
For many, of course, Christmas presents a painful reminder of tragic events. “It’s hard to move on when the same thing keeps happening every year,” says Portland, MA resident Laura Kelly, 44, whose husband was made Jolly in the disastrous events of Christmas 1993. “Going through something like that, it changes you, real deep down.”
“I’m never going to be able to look at mistletoe the same way again,” says Mrs. Kelly, wiping away a tear.
Khalīsah bint Muhammad ‘ibn Khālid ‘umm at-Tabānah is Approved News 6’s readiness correspondent. Found wandering the Libyan coastline in 1973 and seemingly with no memory of her origin, she holds a classified number of top-secret journalistic awards for excellence in the field of [REDACTED], speaks more than thirty languages, and is unswervingly obeyed by seagulls. Khalisa is the author of the popular self-help book 125 Ways to Claw Your Way to the Top and Stay There="An Introduction to Corporate Espionage for Girls. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her parakeet Ibn Shaytan.