The following is a true story.
Well, parts of it are. Santarchy, or Santacon is actually a real event, run by an organization called the "Cacophony Society," who raise a ruckus at Christmastime, allegedly to protest the holiday's over-commercialization, although one suspects it to just be an excuse to riot and cause mischief. Most of the people involved in this organization don't really protest anything, they just dress up as Santa and have a good time. Generally it is a peaceful event that simply entails a bunch of people dressed up as Santa in many major cities across the world.
However, in 2005 in Auckland, that year's Santarchy took a turn from its usually peaceful protesting event, or simply fun party, and got way out of hand. Some drunken Santas actually committed some of the acts described in my story. You can read the news story from 2005 here: https://www.smh.com.au/world/bad-santas-rampage-in-auckland-20051219-gdmnfy.html
Learning of this event on an archived page of Neil Gaiman's blog (of course) and finding an expired link to a CNN story that no longer existed, and down the internet rabbit hole I went! After much searching I finally found the full story on the Sydney Morning Herald, and was (of course!) inspired. I got to thinking, what if something more was going on in this story? What if there was something deeper happening behind the scenes? What if the REAL Santa was in some way involved? Adding a SciFi element of cloning and the Fantasy element of magic, and making it as Christmas-ey and heartwarming as possible by its end, writing essentially 2 stories and suturing them together, all the while taking care to add/embellish elements in each to keep them consistent and part of one overall narrative coming from two different perspectives, and eventually I had this story.
Christmas is in and of itself a good thing. It is a positive outlet to remedy stress for the work force, a day off to look forward to, a time to be with family. It is a time full of cheer, excitement, and elevated, hopeful feelings. It is a day we set aside our usual earthly cares to focus instead on goodness and giving, helping each other, thinking of others, and going out of our way to be helpful our fellow human beings. It is a time of forgiveness and a designated season for focusing on the more important things in life, even if it has become incredibly commercialized. Behind the facade of commercialism and the rampant stampede to buy things, the more important, deeper aspect of the holidays are still there, and they always will be. Goodness, goodwill to man, love for one another, and giving will never go out of style. They will stand the test of time.
Christmas will come no matter what. It will continue and go on and on each year. The Yuletide Spirit will not, cannot, and has not been conquered, regardless of even the most violent of Santarchys, or vilest of plots by Krampus.
This story is my gift to you, the reader. As always I sincerely hope you enjoy it, and I sincerely wish you a
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