'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring not even a mouse'
In Mittelheim, of course, this isn't strictly true. Generally, any self-respecting mouse keen on enjoying this season of good cheer and goodwill to all, packs up his cheese and leaves Mittelheim entirely, heading for places where the locals are friendlier - which, of course, is anywhere else. Not that a Mittelheim Christmas is entirely lacking in Yuletide japery. In the Palatinate of Saukopf-Bachscuttel, the well-to-do are busy smearing lard over their Christmas monkeys, a strange festive ritual usually accompanied by strong alcoholic beverages, some of which are drunk and the rest of which are poured over the proliferation of bites that inevitably result. Poorer folk cannot, of course, afford the luxury of their own monkey, an exotic and expensive import at the best of times, and must instead make do with small dogs or the youngest of their children. For Prince Rupprecht, Christmas is his favourite time: a time when he can legitimately enjoy pigs in blankets - indeed, he never tires of snuggling down for the night with his porcine obsessions. In the Landgravate of Hesse-Rotenburg-Schillingsfurst, the gentlefolk prepare the largest of their jellied seagulls. These are dressed lavishly with tinsel and assortments of gaudy accoutrements, before, to much acclaim, being paraded into dining rooms with a musical accompaniment. Then, the head of the household usually makes a traditional 'address to the seagull' entitled "Tis the Season to be Jelly": this address has a range of local variations, but generally the gist of it is 'Dammit, I'm not eating this - bring out the ham'. In the Empire of Grand Fenwick, Christmas day is the scene normally of an extensive repast - except for the dessert, of which there is only ever one: it being legally impossible in the empire's markets, irrespective of the numbers being fed, to get one's hands on a lovely pair of puddings.
|Wurstburp carol rioting: 'Good kindlings we bring,|
To you and your King'
|Vulgaria: The True Spirit of Christmas|
We hope here that your Christmas jollity is more ordered than that of Mittelheim; and that, in a world that seems increasingly to be going mad, your gods (tentacled or otherwise) keep you and yours safe in the coming year.