It just appeared in the Castle of Doom that morning without explanation. Olgar the Feared and Terrible was highly suspicious of it. He poked one of the many shiny colourful balls that hung from the branches. Nothing happened.
“Danson!” he roared. His most trusted servant responded instantly.
“Yes, master?” he asked amiably, immune to Olgar’s tone.
“What is this tree doing in the throne room?”
“Why, it’s a Christmas tree, sir. It’s Christmas day.”
“Christmas day?” said Olgar, baffled. In all the stress of world domination he’d completely lost track of such minor things as holidays. “Are you sure, Danson?”
“Quite sure, master,” Danson replied with his usual pleasant smile.
“And there’s no chance this was sent by rebel forces as part of an ill-conceived plot to overthrow me?”
“None at all, master. I selected the tree myself.”
“Hmm, very well,” said Olgar. Satisfied, he settled himself onto the throne. The tree did brighten up the cold stone room. “Just ensure all the Christmas gifts are checked throughly before opening. I would not put it past my enemies to use this as an opportunity to infiltrate the castle.”
Danson shifted awkwardly. “Well, you need not worry about that, sir.”
“Danson, you cannot possibly be certain of the origin of every-”
“Forgive me, master,” he interjected. “What I meant to say was, there are no Christmas presents.”
“Oh,” said Olgar. The taste of disappointment was unfamiliar to him, and he didn’t like it one bit. “None at all? Did you check the pit trap? The postman could have fallen in again.”
“I did, master. Twice.”
“I see. What about the minions?”
“Oh, the minions, well they did want to, master, only…you don’t pay them. And before you ask, I’m afraid you don’t pay me either, sir. Perhaps for next year with a modest gift budget we could be instructed to-”
“Next year?” said Olgar. “We’re not waiting until next year. We must right this injustice at once. It’s time for a new law, Danson. From now on Christmas is illegal. Starting right now. Send the guards out to start arresting people and confiscating all contraband. And Danson?”
“Send any gift-wrapped contraband directly to me for inspection.”
“As you wish, master.”