The Errychris were short pointy-eared planet fixers and cold weather lovers. No one knew exactly how they came to love cold weather, except that they had very high body temperatures and this made them uncomfortable in the heat. They liked the cold so much that they would sleep under the stars and take baths in a one horse soap and sleigh.
They roamed the Milky Way looking for planets to fix, for this is what they had done for as long as anyone could remember. One day they came across a planet, third from its sun, which had tilted horribly onto its side. When they landed for a closer look, they found many frozen dinosaurs on one side of the planet, and many cooked dinosaurs on the other. The Errychris felt sad but prepared to leave, and then something furry darted between their legs. Life still graced the planet! They knew, however, if they did not fix the tilt quickly, that the life would not last for long.
They immediately stuck a large peppermint striped pole into the ground. They would set up the spin around this and call it the North Pole. They then began work on adapting the trees. You see, they had to transform the trees into jolly conductors. The trees needed to conduct an awful lot of jolly for the Errychris to prop the planet up so that it got just enough night in the summer to cool off, and more importantly, just enough day in the winter to warm up. They immediately began rigging the long tin sails. The tin sails would catch electromagnetic waves from the sun, turning the trees into electromagnetic collectors. The Errychris then made branch augmentations called ornamateriological minterfeasiasticals. These little “orna mints” were where the hard science of planet tilting took place. The orna mints transformed the electromagnetic waves gathered by the tin sails into specific commands that could adjust gravitational fields, orbits and the like. At the top of the trees, the Errychris put beacons which, if shining, would let them know the jolly was flowing and everything was proceeding according to plan.
They looked at the orbit of the planet on their Orbitron watches. They knew the best time to attempt the tilt was when the planet was closest to the sun; this was when they could get a good Wish off. They needed some extra helpers for when the big moment arrived. They found a large red T-Rex, and an even bigger green Brontosaurus, and defrosted them. For the good of the planet, because they were dinosaurs of good will, the T-Rex said he would not eat Bronto, and Bronto said she would not stomp Rexy.
Now there is another important part to this story. The Errychris had found this adorable man on a planet that they had tried to fix. He either did not have a name or could not remember it. It was, however, too late for his planet because the burning of carbon-based fuel had ruined the atmosphere. Nevertheless, they could not leave this man because of a sanitary clause in their contract, i.e. they must remove people and things from dead planets. This latter part was especially difficult because the planet this sweet man was on contained tons of toys! What a headache for the Errychris!
Being conscientious citizens of the Milky Way, they gathered all the toys up in a big bag and took the person who had not a name, but whom they had all come to refer to as the “sanitary clause” guy. Unfortunately, he was not particularly fond of cold weather, which the Errychris loved, so he ate a lot in order to put on weight. He became quite fat on hohoho, which was what the Errychris ate. In fact, he was always asking the Errychris for more food.
The Errychris joyfully prepared the planet, third from its sun, with Red Rexy and Green Bronto standing by, and with the sanitary clause guy hanging around saying, “Hohoho!” (Because he was hungry, as he always was when he was cold), and they got ready to cast their Wish toward the sun. At just the right moment, on the day when the planet was closest to its sun, the leader of the Errychris, whose name was Am, cast a Wish out toward the sun. A Wish was similar to a big fishing line, except it was for catching the sun instead of fish. The Wish caught the sun and the planet started to tilt ever so slightly. The whole group of Errychris, en masse, leaned to the left in order to add weight. They did not weigh very much, but it moved the planet enough so that the tin sails started to collect the sun’s electromagnetic waves. The tin sails then directed the energy into the ornamateriological minterfeasiasticals, lighting them up with sparkles and all the colors of the rainbow until, after just a bit of excited zingling, the jolly started to flow up and through the trees lighting the beacons on their tops. The planet was now starting to tilt significantly up and off its sideways axis, yet it was still not enough. A little more was needed and this was where the dinosaurs came in. The Errychris called out to the defrosted dinosaurs, “Lean to your left!” Red Rexy and Green Bronto leaned with all their weight. With a lot of leaning, and a couple of thunderous dinosaur jumps, the most amazing thing happened – the angles started to sing! Not to worry, this was what was supposed to happen. When the planet reached its correct degree of inclination, the electromagnetic waves emitted by the sun caused the intersecting angles to sing. Thus, the Errychris knew the planet had achieved precisely the tilt desired and the angles singing let loose a tide of jolly that saved the planet!
The Errychris had done it again. They could not stay long, however, for they had more planets to help. It was then that it hit them. They could leave all the toys under the trees and the sanitary clause guy along with them! There were some animals on the planet that looked like they might evolve into something similar to him. They asked him if this was okay and he said, “Hohoho!”
“Good enough,” The Errychriss replied and, upon parting, gave the sanitary clause guy one last task. “Oh yeah, and see if you can find something to do with for all those toys!”
So at solstice time, to create a yuletide that will preserve the correct tilt of the planet, people say, “We Wish you Am Errychris en masse!” which over the years has turned into “We wish you a Merry Christmas!” because that basically describes how the planet was saved. Of course, ornamateriological minterfeasiasticals or “orna mints” became ornaments, and the tin sails on the trees have become known as tinsel. The red and green dinosaurs somehow fell out of the tradition, but their colors are still the colors of the holiday. Stars represent the jolly beacons atop the trees, and someone misspelled “angles” leaving us with “angels”! Of course, angels sing nicely, too. The sanitary clause guy fulfilled the request of the Errychris and each year, when the planet passed closest to the sun, he distributed toys from his long forgotten planet to all the boys and girls, and sometimes even to grownups. Finally, you guessed it, the sanitary clause guy we now call Santa Claus! Oh, and if you hear “hohoho”, make sure you leave out some cookies.
Jason Sullivan copyright 2012
CHRISTMAS DINOSAUR illustration by Caraman @ Dreamstime.com