This morning, door ten of the Strachan advent calendar was opened in a brief and understated ceremony in my dining room. Despite currently residing on my own, during this traditional observance I felt moved to utter a few reverential words before utilising a fingernail to jemmy open the aforementioned door. My short speech entailing a thank you to god for sending us his only son and Dominion vote counting software.

Anyhow, as we’re now at the juncture of 10th December, there’s only fourteen days left for Santa to impart further motivational discourse to his reindeer ‘army’. Father Christmas’ rousing platitudes providing a much needed gee up to his antler laden sleigh power prior to their gruelling twenty four hour shift. A workday not made easier dragging fat arse and his gift laden chariot around the globe.

In preparation for an arduous night on the 24th December, for months Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Donner, Cupid and Blixen have undertaken a strict fitness/dietary regime. Exercise undertaken in association with dropped hints to old St Nick about perhaps shedding a few pounds before the big day.

Sadly for the put upon caribous, though, the red-faced, white bearded bringer of festive joy has thus far ignored the Weight Watchers enrolment brochures landing on his doormat. Leading to the implementation of less subtle reindeer strategies, such as the erecting ‘Lose Some Weight, Lard Ass’ placards around Santa’s estate.

Despite the septet of cloven hoofed Cervidaes preparing in a professional manner (with the possible exception of the placards), all isn’t well at casa St Nick. A scene of animosity plays out, instigated by a diva-like withdrawal of labour by Rudolph the red nosed reindeer (RRNR).

Industrial action initiated after old Clausy rejected red nose’s demands for higher monetary recompense than his antler laden counterparts. A confrontational move leading to the possibility the disruptive Rudi ending up as the irked Mr & Mrs Claus’ Boxing Day venison lunch. 

RRNR’s wage demands fuelled by a submission his conk’s enhanced navigational visibility make him a more valuable team member. In his opinion, this additional skillset meaning he should be compensated accordingly. An argument which’s thus far fallen deafly upon Kris Kringle’s selectively engaged lugs.

The discontented reindeer also incurring Santa’s wrath by doggedly refusing to adhere to new Lapland health and safety working edicts, stating hi-vis jackets must be worn by sleigh navigational teams. Rudolph stubbornly arguing that, unlike the other seven caribous, his glowing red nose negates any requirement for him to augment personal visibility further.

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Finnish industrial arbitration associations have been engaged in an attempt to resolve the impasse between red nose and red face. However, as yet, haven’t been able to placate either party. Consequently, Father Christmas may have to go into the big day a reindeer light.

This isn’t the first occasion the cloven hoofed rebel has caused discord within the hallowed walls of St Nick Towers. Last year, the RNR incited further Lapland based pandemonium with demands for employment benefits. These perks including private health care, bonuses for reindeers whose name rhymes with Hudolph, and the banning of the word venison in a working environment.

Actually, after pondering long and hard about this draft’s prose, taking it into account Rudolph’s penchant for taking the litigation route, it’d be prudent to highlight Rudi isn’t a disruptive, cloven hoofed, s**t stirrer in the mould of a militant 1970’s union leader, as I’ve perhaps indicated….. Although, to be fair to 1970’s union leaders, they ordinarily weren’t in possession of cloven hooves.

*** – Santa Claus appears in this narrative courtesy of Arthur’s Pie Shop, Newton Aycliffe.