Planning Ahead

Brian Switek: We should start thinking about this now: when there’s no more ice at the North Pole, where will we say that Santa lives?

“Santa? Why, darling, everybody knows that Santa lives with Cain and Abel in the Lord Shaper’s domain of the Dreaming. He makes a list, checks it twice, and if you’ve been naughty, you’ll fall asleep and wake up, and wake up again, and again…”

“Really? But that’s mean!”

“Santa is harsh but fair, my child. He bound his own son Loki in a cavern beneath the world, with a snake dripping venom into Loki’s eyes. When Loki screams, the earth quakes. But after what he did, Santa could have punished him more harshly.”

“What did Loki do?”

“Maybe when you’re older, I’ll tell you all about it. Some say that Loki’s pain will redeem him, and he will fight alongside his father one dark December night to come… when Santa’s sleigh takes to the skies one last time, to wage the doomed battle of Ragnarok.”

“Mommy, is Santa’s sleigh really made of dead men’s fingernails?”

“That is what the sagas teach us, my child.”

“But if Santa says I’m naughty, what I can do?”

“Once, long ago, there lived a warrior who refused to be called naughty. She fought back.”

“Wow! When was that?”

“In an age of ancient gods, warlords and kings. The land was in turmoil….”