It was quiet… too quiet. General O’Reilly was always wary of such silences. The enemy camp was deserted, as if they had retreated, but you could never be too certain. In a war like this one… one so undefined, waged with such secretive tactics and brilliant maneuvering as to hardly be noticeable… well, one could never be too vigilant.
His troops were celebrating today’s apparent retreat by the enemy. Loud, rowdy choruses of “Away in a Manger” drifted from the barracks. Even the sentry on duty seemed relaxed, singing “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” quietly under his breath, emphasizing the word Christmas on every pass. General O’Reilly gave him a stern look as he passed, and the sentry stopped singing. “That song sounds very secular, Private. Not one mention of the baby Jesus. I expect better,” General O’Reilly ordered.
The sentry transitioned quickly to “O Little Town of Bethlehem.”
“Much better,” General O’Reilly said approvingly. “One can never be too careful. The enemy are quite stealthy, trying to lure defectors to their side with their cheerful secular Christmas carols.”
The sentry offered a quick nod and a salute. “Keep a careful watch,” General O’Reilly commanded. “I have a bad feeling about this night.”
“Sir, yes, sir,” the sentry replied.
General O’Reilly continued on his way to his private chambers. Some had criticized that the palatial building with its millions of Christmas lights was too ornate and obvious, but General O’Reilly knew the enemy. He had intentionally ordered the soldiers to spell out the words “Jesus Christ” in letters ten feet high with the lights, knowing for sure that the enemy would be weakened simply by hearing those words.
Hours later, General O’Reilly was sleeping peacefully in his life-size manger, surrounded by the figures of Mary, Joseph, and the cattle, when he was suddenly awakened by a terrible cry. “ATTACK! ATTACK!”
He sprang from bed and ran to the windows. Sure enough, boxes labeled “Holiday Trees” were being catapulted over the fortress walls. He ran from his chambers and found the streets littered with the remnants of an explosive that had been filled with cards bearing smiling snowmen wishing him “Seasons Greetings!” The battle cry of “Happy Holidays!” echoed around the fortress.
“RETURN FIRE!” General O’Reilly shouted, as his troops scrambled into position.
The soldiers made quick work of loading Nativity sets into the cannons and shooting them over the walls. The archers loaded Christmas prayer books onto their arrows and targeted them at the enemy. The Christmas Choir Contingent were deployed to the insides of the fortress walls, where they sang every religious carol in sequence at the top of their lungs.
The battle seemed to go on for hours. Replacement choristers had to be brought in from neighboring fortresses. The supply of “Jesus Is The Reason For The Season” pins was worn down significantly as they were flung en masse over the walls at the enemy. Angel figurines floated through the skies toward the enemy camp. The shining star of Bethlehem was raised over the fortress as a rallying banner to encourage the soldiers to keep up their courageous battle. However, the decisive victory came when General O’Reilly ordered their most powerful weapon strategy: The Three Kings Treatment. Gold, frankincense, and myrrh were loaded in trebuchets and rained down upon the enemy. As the attacking troops quickly retreated, a victory cry of “Merry Christmas!” rang out among the troops as the choirs triumphantly sang “O Holy Night.”
General O’Reilly surveyed his brave troops with approval. Though many had labeled the war “ridiculous,” these valiant heroes had answered his call to arms and had come prepared to defend Christmas against those who would destroy it by celebrating it improperly. It was only through their hypervigilance that the Christmas tradition of shoving religion upon all non-Christians could be maintained.
And with that hypervigilance in mind, General O’Reilly returned to his opulent quarters to check in with his commanders around the nation, who were keeping a watchful eye on any new subtle offensives by the enemy. There was no time to celebrate yet. There were still several weeks until Christmas, and the war had just begun.
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