Christmas Takeover 25 Pt 2: M. Ennenbach: Thanksgiving at the North Pole

M. Ennenbach is the author of our second Christmas Day story, and I know I know… it’s technically a Thanksgiving Day story, but here’s the thing… When I went to write my schedule for the Christmas Takeover, I decided to try something differently. I put everyone’s name in a bucket and pulled it out and, interestingly enough, two of my favorite newer-to-me authors were selected out of the bucket for today, so that’s how we’ve ended up with a Thanksgiving story on Christmas haha.


Thanksgiving at the North Pole

A Story by M. Ennenbach
1,686 words

“Fuck me.”

“Gladly my dear.”

“Funny. I need help here. You have another funny quip or you feel like getting off of your lazy ass and actually helping for once?”

“If I have a choice…”

“Never mind then. I can do it by myself.”

“I am just kidding. Calm down, we have tons of time. You always wait until the very end to start panic mode. Every year. What do you need me to do?”

“The elves are only working at ninety nine percent optimal speed. The reindeer have not tried on the new harnesses and my goddamned internet connection is slower than Krampus after a a second bottle of his nerve tonic.”

“So every thing is going just like normal?”

“Look, I love you. You are my wife and partner but sometimes I want to throttle you. Just a little.”

“Sometimes I want that too. Maybe you just need a little break to stuff my stocking.”

“Not right now, we are on a deadline here. And what the fuck is Rudolph doing? I swear if it weren’t for that shiny red nose I would put him down. With the advances in tech over the years he is not nearly as important as he likes to march around and act.”

“Leave Rudy alone you big bully. Did you see that? Jennifer just hit her brother. Again.”

“He deserved it. He has been calling her names all day. He thinks he is sneaky. He will know just how sneaky when he gets coal. Again. One more year and he goes in Krampus’s wicker basket.”

“Five years running and he still doesn’t understand you see everything.”

“Some of these kids never learn. Doug stole another issue of his dad’s reading material and blamed the mailman. He is going to go blind if he keeps doing that. Surprised his hands aren’t covered in hair by now.”

“I will head down and let the elves know they are behind production.”

“Again.”

“Yes dear, again. And then the reindeer will get fitted for the sleigh.”

“Next year we are going to get in touch with that Musk guy. We could retire the deer and use electric engines. There are enough solar panels that I could get him to put reactive pads on the sleigh and we could charge as I make deliveries.”

“What about in Africa? Or the more isolated areas in Asia?”

“Hybrid? Maybe give him a glimpse into the thermal tech we use to power the factory. If half of the elves used a quarter of their fucking brains we could have solved this years ago.”

“Years ago the kids around the world still wanted toys. Now it is all about electronics and cell phones.”

“Don’t get me started. Spent how much to renovate the production lines, to get up to speed on electronics instead of rocking horses and dolls. Surprised we haven’t had to install those suicide nets like in China.”

“The elves enjoy their work. And soldering is just as much an art as painting toys.”

“I guess. But where is the joy in it? Making a device that is basically already obsolete by the time it is unwrapped. Remember those goddamned Furbys? Demonic little shits.”

“Our business is happy kids, not telling them what they want or need.”

“Maybe their parents should be telling them less watching other people play games and more playing with toys.”

“You realize when you get like this it is impossible to have a reasonable talk, right?”

“I’m sorry.”

“I know. Eat those cookies I brought down for you. Take a break and watch the newest Mr Robot, the season is almost done already.”

“Elliot is on my nice list. Angela was but recently…”

“Darlene seems to be coming around though.”

“True. You’re right.”

“What was that?”

“I said you are right my love. I do need a break.”

“Well Mr Claus, it seems you are capable of learning after all this time.”

“Whatever. I am going to my study. One episode and then it is back to it.”

“I will see to the others dear. I love you.”

“I love you too Mrs Claus.”


“Presley, Martin, Rachael and Sherwin, I need a word with you.”

“Yes Mrs Claus.”

“We all know today is Thanksgiving in America.”

“Yes ma’am.”

“We also know how my dear husband gets at this time every year.”

“Yes ma’am.”

“So why in the fuck are we at ninety nine percent efficiency? Can someone explain why we would be running any less than optimally on this day?”

“Bad peanut brittle. Nearly ten percent of the workforce has been racing to the latrines.”

“Bad peanut brittle. You want me to explain to Santa that ten percent of you ate bad peanut brittle and because of that production is suffering?”

“It is the truth ma’am.”

“So the giant party last night had nothing to do with it? The fact that someone raided our pantry and stole all the powdered sugar is just a coincidence?”

“Well, see…”

“I told them it was a bad idea. No one ever listens to me ma’am.”

“No one like an ass kisser Sherwin. Rachael, is there any correlation between the sick elves and those that partook of the powdered sugar?”

“Possibly ma’am. I wouldn’t know. I was sound asleep by eight fifteen.”

“So you claim ignorance?”

“Umm, yes Mrs Claus.”

“Presley, let the workforce know until all the backlog is filled the cocoa will be sugar and marshmallow free.”

“But Mrs Claus!”

“Shall I explain to my husband that his production manager came to a meeting with powdered sugar all over his nose? Do you think sugar free cocoa will be his response? Remember last year when he caught Beauregard with pixie sticks? Has anyone seen him since?”

“My apologies ma’am. I understand Mrs Claus. We will work through the night until we hit our numbers. Though there is a problem with some of the chips out of India.”

“And I am hearing about this now.”

“I just found out myself. The failure rate has gone from two to four percent.”

“Still acceptable.”

“Yes but that has caused a back up in the screen department. We have had to go back and double check the last two weeks inventory.”

“And?”

“It looks worse than it is. Just wanted you to know before it gets overblown.”

“Noted. Now get your magical asses back to work before my husband decides to come down himself.”

“Yes ma’am!”

“And someone call down to the stables, let them know I am on my way. And let them know my mood. Not time for fuckery today, not on Thanksgiving.”

“Consider it down Mrs Claus.”


“Dante, my friend. How are you today?”

“Doing well Mrs Claus.”

“Then explain to me why in the fuck the harnesses have not been properly fitted yet if you will.”

“But they have! We double checked them this very morning.”

“So then my husband is lying about it? What ever could he gain from that?”

“Did I say this morning? It was probably closer to noon now that I think about it.”

“Oh. So were they or weren’t they fitted today?”

“We can do it again if you would like to check them yourself ma’am.”

“Dante, if I wanted to get jerked off I would be in the den with my husband not down here where it frankly reeks of shit and sugar.”

“That is not, umm, I mean to say… yes ma’am. I apologize.”

“God damn it Dante, what day is this?”

“Let’s see the twenty third. Oh. Thanksgiving.”

“And who freaks out every year on Thanksgiving?”

“Santa does.”

“And why is that?”

“We have a month until the big night.”

“So when he asks if the harnesses have been fitted correctly what do we do?”

“We double check them and send our report in promptly.”

“And what the fuck is Rudolph doing?”

“He is upset with the other reindeer. He has been moping and sniffing glue all morning in his stall. Typical drama king, he gets worse as we get closer to the big night.”

“And why is he allowed to mope?”

“He leads the sleigh? A sense of entitlement? Who can understand why a reindeeer stuck in teen angst does anything?”

“No. Because you let him fucking mope and act like this is his big production.”

“He has become impossible ever since that claymation special and song.”

“Then teach him how important he is. Show him the sketches of the LED modules for the front of the sleigh.”

“Are you sure?”

“Dante, did I fucking stutter?”

“No you did not Mrs Claus. It will be handled.”

“Good. I expect a report sent in within the hour. And Rudolph to be on his best behavior. Santa is talking about Musk again. You know what happens then?”

“We are rendered obsolete.”

“And what happens to elves and deer that are rendered obsolete.”

“We are turned into coal for bad children.”

“You are this close to that. Do not make me regret sticking up for you.”

“Yes ma’am. Thank you very much ma’am.”

“Just do your fucking job and we will all make it through another season.”

“Yes Mrs Claus, my apologies. We will send the report directly to Santa asap.”

“See that you do.”


“How was your show dear?”

“Amazing. They keep me right at the edge of my seat. Brilliant as always. I need to send them something special this year.”

“You should dear. The elves have been spoken to. And the reindeer have been fitted.”

“And Rudolph?”

“He is learning an extra special lesson on knowing ones place.”

“Ho ho ho! Thank you my love. I couldn’t do this without you.”

“Does that mean you have a special treat for me?”

“And what does Mrs Claus want?”

“Let’s start with a candy cane, a special one…”

“Ho Ho Ho! A thanksgiving miracle indeed. And then some stocking stuffing.”

“And look at where I have hung the mistletoe.”

“You are being awfully naughty with it on your belly button ring like that. But rules are rules.”

“Indeed they are, now about that sweet treat…”

M. Ennenbach is a lot of things. Part time dreamer. Full time poet. Scribbler of tales. An Illinois yankee in DFW, but don’t hold any of that against him. A proud father of two that he loves more than life itself. His stories are written from a place of raw emotion, stripped pieces of the man himself spun into powerful trips through nightmare and daydream. Sometimes bleak, at others hilarious but always unique glimpses of another realm; his words will take you on a journey. His first collection, Notches, is available on Amazon and Death’s Head Press with more on the way.

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