November 30, 2013
For weeks now we’ve been at war with the unrelenting Christmas. The men in my regiment are getting restless. Last night I could hear Private Jennings crying out in his sleep, some kind of pained gibberish about “boughs of holly” and “fa la la la la.” He’s slipping. We’re all slipping.
But when I think about those sick, gingerbread loving bastards out there, I know we must press on for the greater good. Christmas will not win.
Dear god. There’s something in the air. What is that sickening smell? Is it nerve gas? No, it’s a peppermint mocha. Oh hell no. Not on my watch.
December 1, 2013
Today I am completely exhausted. It was rough out there in the trenches from daylight til dark. We wished at least 2,000 men “Happy holidays!” Some of them fought back bitterly with a “Merry Christmas!” but we stayed strong. Sometimes a “Merry Christmas” will come in, unexpected, over our heads, scattering its cheer among us. You never get used to a sound like that. I hear it when I try to sleep at night. The sickening sound of a million “Merry Christmases” terrorizing my dreams. I will never be the same.
December 2, 2013
We lost our Captain yesterday. He was a good man. He was going in on a 15 foot pine tree, to name it a “holiday tree.” But they got there first. Called it a Christmas tree. And it was all over. A suicide mission really. We should’ve known better.
I’m so sick of this damn, dirty war. I miss my wife, my children. But then I think about what I would do if someone wished one of them, God forbid, a “Merry Christmas” and I snap back to reality. We must stay strong. Christmas will not stand. I don’t care how many candy canes I have to break in half with my bare hands. We will win this.
December 3, 2013
Yesterday we marched through the fields to the north. I gazed in open-eyed wonder at the long lines of infantry. Maybe, just maybe, we can make Christmas a totally secular holiday after all. Maybe we can even change the name to “Holidaymas.” But I can’t get ahead of myself.
We’ve lost good men and women to Christmas. My fallen brothers and sisters were bravely sending out their holiday cards. Bravely giving holiday gifts. They will never be forgotten.
December 4, 2013
The day before yesterday I saw a Christmas soldier lying on the ground. Funny, he didn’t really look too different from me. We could have been brothers. But then I saw him start to stir. I saw him come back to life and reach for his glass of eggnog. Something about the way the nutmeg was dusted atop that creamy cup of filth lit a fire inside me. I knocked it right from his trembling hand and wished him a happy Winter Solstice. As his body lay cowering on the ground, I pulled the small bible out of my breast pocket and read him this passage: Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.
And that’s when it happened. Two small boys came up behind me. They were only kids for god’s sake! They each wished me a “Merry Christmas!” I was caught completely off guard. I was sprawling on the ground before I was even conscious of being hit, the blow deadening all sensations. I suffered considerable pain but I’m more comfortable now. Weak. I’m doing whatever I can to keep my mind strong. You can take my body, Christmas, but you’ll never take my soul.