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.
â€œDanson!â€ he roared. His most trusted servant responded instantly.
â€œYes, master?â€ he asked amiably, immune to Olgarâ€™s tone.
â€œWhat is this tree doing in the throne room?â€
â€œWhy, itâ€™s a Christmas tree, sir. Itâ€™s Christmas day.â€
â€œChristmas day?â€ said Olgar, baffled. In all the stress of world domination heâ€™d completely lost track of such minor things as holidays. â€œAre you sure, Danson?â€
â€œQuite sure, master,â€ Danson replied with his usual pleasant smile.
â€œAnd thereâ€™s no chance this was sent by rebel forces as part of an ill-conceived plot to overthrow me?â€
â€œNone at all, master. I selected the tree myself.â€
â€œHmm, very well,â€ said Olgar. Satisfied, he settled himself onto the throne. The tree did brighten up the cold stone room. â€œJust 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.â€
Danson shifted awkwardly. â€œWell, you need not worry about that, sir.â€
â€œDanson, you cannot possibly be certain of the origin of every-â€
â€œForgive me, master,â€ he interjected. â€œWhat I meant to say was, there are no Christmas presents.â€
â€œOh,â€ said Olgar. The taste of disappointment was unfamiliar to him, and he didnâ€™t like it one bit. â€œNone at all? Did you check the pit trap? The postman could have fallen in again.â€
â€œI did, master. Twice.â€
â€œI see. What about the minions?â€
â€œOh, the minions, well they did want to, master, onlyâ€¦you donâ€™t pay them. And before you ask, Iâ€™m afraid you donâ€™t pay me either, sir. Perhaps for next year with a modest gift budget we could be instructed to-â€
â€œNext year?â€ said Olgar. â€œWeâ€™re not waiting until next year. We must right this injustice at once. Itâ€™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?â€
â€œSend any gift-wrapped contraband directly to me for inspection.â€
â€œAs you wish, master.â€