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.