Everyone knew the fabricated, tame, version of Christmas. The Jolly Elfman, the cuddly reindeer and a cheery cookie baking Mrs Claus leading a team of toymakers were the things of happy dreams. It’s a cute story but not even close to the truth.
As you have seen – the elves were not elves, they were mountain dwarves who lived in the cold wastes to keep a solitary existence. What no one knew was where and when they met Santa, and it really did not matter.
Mz Clawz was a continuing mystery to Lenny and to the world. She was also a long-lived person rumored to have either been the daughter of Kublai Khan or maybe she drank from the fountain of youth... but that was just a story. She was also the reindeer connection to Santa but again the details were shrouded in mystery. One thing was sure though, they came at her beckoning, not Santa's.
She fed and protected the reindeer when they needed it and in one legendary incident, even took revenge on evil human hunters. She came like a black-as-a-bat whirlwind out of the white wastes and with a cracking whip drove out all the offenders who had captured the entire herd. These were considered HER reindeer tribe, very different than others although they welcomed escaped tamed reindeer who found them. They lived in a cavern somewhere, and like all involved with Santa, the details were as hard to decipher as the ancient pathways through the snows.
There was a way to the rest of world in recent years, The Northern Cargo Train, but Mz Clawz was not so thrilled with the outside world and had built her own life she adored.
The Northern Cargo Train had to be dug out all the time- so the train would run periodically to clear the tracks, usually once a month. It was to bring in outside toy supplies and send runaway children back who always showed up one way or another. In the end when they saw that Santa’s “village” was not what the stories said it was like, most wanted to go home anyway.
Santa’s home was beautiful though, just not what they expected. It and all the homes and workshops of the “village” were carved inside a mountain and its foothills. All the rooms had huge raging fireplaces but these did not have chimneys, they had holes that led into the mountain itself. This is why the "village" was visible. All Santa had to do when they wanted to “disappear” was extinguish all the fires but ones needed for life and food and the mountain and smaller hills would eventually be completely covered in snow and ice. It was the many vast fires heating the rocks from within that kept them visible.
Santa’s position in the world came as a result of what founded so many other things- because of war.
One of the reasons they remained at the North Pole was because it was hard to get to- and easy for them to fend off the people who kept coming for very unfriendly reasons. No one mentions the dark days before holiday seasons when there was a war on the North Pole. Even after the holidays began some still tried. For many decades the warlords and machines that ran the world made appearances there and every time froze in the mire in the wasteland.
They wanted Santa, they wanted to dissect the reindeer that also lived much longer than humans, they wanted these things to build armies. Then as a taunt Santa and his crew would ride forth on what was to become Christmas Eve and instead of dropping bombs would leave toys. Instead of engaging the enemy they'd engage the enemy's children in play- coming with stealth into the general's homes and showing them that if they chose they could do more harm than any armed force. Horrible thoughts to scare horrible men, but it worked. He knew where they lived. He knew whether they were bad or good. He saw into their hearts and knew what he had would be used to destroy.
The governments backed down but some people asked for the unique toys again- because they realized how happy their children's smiles made them. A pleasant shock for the families of those who only wanted to tear things down.
As time went by, others heard and passed the word along, the requests grew and the letters were sent and you know the rest. People went back and re-wrote the stories to be happy and friendly and kind so all the aspects of the new Holiday were gentle. Plus they wanted to cover up what some evil people had tried to do.
There was a rare text, a fragment of what had been a large report, that had the only account so far of a person who was allowed to accompany Santa and stay with them for some time. Some think maybe it was a mysterious time traveler named Egeria, but no one knew for sure. You had been able to check it out of any library but of course now it’s gone.
Here are excerpts… stored forever in the collective memories of the bookworms who ingested so much of history.
Check out the previous parts of Happily Ever Over right here.