The League Against Santa Claus

The League Against Santa Claus

by Selina Lock

The blue-hooded figure stepped up to the podium. His long, grey beard looked in need of a good trim, but his beady eyes took in the motley crowd before him. He banged his staff on the wooden floor and the murmur of voices slowly faded.

“I call to order this meeting of The League Against Santa Claus” he said in a voice that filled the village hall and made the straggly tinsel and foil stars sway slightly.

“First order of business is a battle plan to destroy that lowly upstart Santa Claus!”

This produced a ragged cheer from the crowd, with a crashing of chains from the hairy, cloven-hoofed beast in the far corner. The beast’s long red tongue lolled out of his mouth in a sinister smile.

The bearded man banged his staff again and started detailing his battle plan. After about forty five minutes of this, the Yule Goat spat out the fake Christmas tree branch he’d been idly gnawing and bleated for attention.

“I was promised biscuits and akvavit. Bring on the nibbles!” the goat demanded. The hooded man glared at him. The goat stared back, chewing the cud calmly before speaking.

“You know we’ll just follow your lead Odin. No need to bore us all to death with the details.”

“Boiled adzuki beans done yet?” two men in identical ogre masks and straw capes chimed up in unison.

Odin banged his staff on the floor again and stalked off stage.

“Fine, the nibbles are at the back” he said.

The Yule Goat ambled after him.

“Who invited the two namahage?” he asked Odin, gesturing with one hoof towards the men in the ogre masks. “They’re New Year demons. We don’t want them muscling in on our territory.”

Odin sighed. “We’re a bit short on troops this year and they did make a compelling argument that Santa had nicked their naughty kids shtick.”

They all got stuck into the stollen, Christmas themed beer and akvavit. The party was very convivial until Krampas attempted to dance on one of the tables. They decided it was time to take him home before he hurt someone.

Odin surveyed his troops. The drunken beast, the masked twins and the abnormally large goat. He wished Thor hadn’t been too busy in Hollywood to attend this year. He banged his staff again and the other members of the League rolled their eyes at him.

“Remember, we meet at the North Pole at noon on Christmas Eve. Anyone who needs a lift can hitch a ride with the wild hunt.”

On Christmas Eve they gathered on a snow-packed peak overlooking Santa’s grotto. Odin was sporting a shiny new blue robe, had combed his beard for the occasion and was sitting astride his eight-legged horse Sleipnir. Krampus had polished his chains and the Yule Goat was sporting one of those red Scandinavian style scarves that were all the rage. The namahage were jigging about and grumbling about the cold. Behind them, the ghostly horses of the wild hunt stamped their hooves, while their riders waved their spears and bows.

Odin’s ravens Huginn and Muninn could be seen flying above the grotto, scouting out the territory. They returned a few minutes later to make their report. Odin trotted forward and addressed his troops.

“It appears Santa got wind of our assault and has recruited a couple of security yeti, but we mustn’t let that stop us. This is our year! Ready your weapons.”

The riders, demons and beasts shifted around and tensed their muscles. Odin turned Sleipnir to face the grotto and raised his staff.


The strange crew thundered down the bank towards Santa’s workshop. An answering roar was heard, as lumbering yeti appeared, reindeer bolted out of the stables and the jolly man in the red suit rallied his own troops.

As the two sides got nearer, Odin released the first snowball, which hit Santa square in the chest.

“First point to us” Odin shouted in triumph.

Then the Yule Goat locked horns with Rudolph, the wild hunt went up against the other reindeer and Krampus and the namahage twins targeted the yeti. The snowball fight began in earnest.

The noise from the fight caused Mrs Claus and head Elf Freda to come running out of the house, where they’d been having a well-earned hot chocolate break. They skidded to a halt, as a snowball landed at their feet. Mrs Claus shook her head.

“Every year, every damn year this happens. He promised it wouldn’t interfere with loading the sleigh, but oh no, they have to have their fun. Men!”

She threw her hands up in the air and Freda patted her on the shoulder, not easy when you are an elf of restricted stature.

“Good job we organised extra elf shifts, just in case.”

“You’re a life-saver, or a Christmas saver in this case Freda” Mrs Claus replied. “Come on then, let’s get that sleigh loaded.”

They turned back towards the workshop, with whoops and yells ringing in their ears.

“But if he thinks he’s sleeping in our bed tonight he’s very much mistaken” Mrs Claus muttered as she went.

Naughty or Nice?

Naughty or Nice?

by Jay Eales

“You remember the rules, right?”

“Jawohl, mein Kapitan.” Carol gave a Hitler salute, with a mocking grin.

Rather than the desired effect of lightening the mood, Kristian’s expression grew grave.

“Indulge me.” He looked at Carol seriously, as though he was about to tell her the cat had been run over. Carol sighed, and played the game, rattling through the rules by rote, just as Kristian had relayed them to her: “No smoking. No drinking. No swearing. I thought this was supposed to be fun?”

“It better be. It cost me a packet to ship that crate all the way from Lapland.”

“I’d have been happy with a week at Centerparcs.”

“I can take you to Centerparcs any time of year! Where’s your Christmas spirit?”

“Under lock and key in the drinks cabinet until after Twelfth Night, apparently…”

“If you think my dad will stop smoking those evil Christmas Cuban cigars of his just because of some rules you’ve made up, you don’t know him as well as you should.”

“I didn’t make the rules. Rare Exports Incorporated do. I had to sign a contract before they’d even agree to let me buy one.”

“In… blood?”

“Might as well have been. I felt they’d charged me a pound of flesh. But, it’ll be worth it. This is gonna be the best Christmas ever, babes. Trust me. It’s all for you. Your dad will understand. Tell him we’re not smoking in the house any more, or something.”

“Careful, tiger! Isn’t lying on that list of rules somewhere too? Can I take a peek at this mysterious crate, at least?”

“Don’t be so impatient! Christmas Eve is just a few hours away. You’ll have to wait.” Kristian seemed to have cheered up a little at least. He’d regained some of his playfulness. It was a relief, as Carol thought he’d had it all knocked out of him with all the extra hours at work. A fat wallet was all well and good, but not if it meant losing the cheeky man-child she’d fallen for. Hadn’t she worked just as hard to keep up with the Joneses; live the dream; a top-flight career and a life?

“Can I at least have a teensy bottle of Grolsch tonight? It’s not Christmas yet. You haven’t even let me trim the tree. You and your family traditions. Look at the poor thing sitting there in the corner all naked and green. By the time you let me decorate it, the needles will have started to drop off. Come on, big boy! Just a beer and a bauble… I won’t tell.”

“You can’t.”


“He’ll know.”

“Oh, for God’s sake, Kristian!” Carol was growing just a little tired of her boyfriend’s inflexibility. What good was Christmas if you couldn’t let your hair down? Eat too much, drink too much and go a little wild. Let the credit card take the strain and repent at leisure when the New Year was safely begun. Kristian took a sharp intake of breath, “Careful… Do you want to be naughty or nice?”

“Oh, I like this game! Naughty, every time! It’s a fair cop, guv! Put the bracelets on. I can’t promise I’ll come quietly, though.” Carol pantomimed the universal invitation to put invisible handcuffs on her wrists, a prelude to a better end to the evening than its beginning, she hoped. Hope that was instantly dashed when she saw the horrified look on Kristian’s face.

“He’ll put you on his list.”

“He can check it as many times as he bloody well likes. The day I’ve had, I’m having a drink. Join me or don’t. And I’m opening the gingerbread packet. Don’t even try stopping me.”

Kristian knew he was on a hiding to nothing. When Carol set her mind to it like this, nothing short of coshing her over the head and dragging her from the house would change how this would turn out. He considered it.

The funny thing was, Carol did get her way and decorated the tree that night. Not in a modern style, though it could be described as ‘traditional’. When both sets of parents arrived for Christmas dinner, punctual as ever, Carol’s father stubbing out his filthy cheroot in the snow outside the house on the instructions of She Who Must Be Obeyed, they could see the tree glistening through the window first of all.

When they finally gained entry, it was the splintered crate they saw next, quite empty. Their calls to Carol and Kristian went unanswered. Confused that they might have missed a phone message cancelling dinner, they wandered about the house, finally arriving in the lounge to finally witness the tree in all its glory. Not a scrap of tinsel on the tree this year. Slippery red ropes strung about the tree, and those were definitely not baubles. Ho. Ho. Ho.


This story is a homage to the film Rare Exports & is not intended to infringe copyright.