Disclaimers: I do not own The Lord of the Rings. J.R.R. Tolkien does. All other canon material belongs to their respected owners. I only own the original plot, original characters, etc.
Okay, so what began as my fanfiction version of the Nutcracker has turned into a mixture of Christmas tales, told in their versions by our principal hobbits. Should be quite fascinating spin on Christmas and Yule. Anyway, let's begin. :)
"Alrigh'," Sam commanded, "it's story time!"
"Ooh, what will Mr. Frodo tell us this year!" Elanor asked, sitting in front of Frodo's chair.
"Now Elanor, give Frodo-lad some room," Rosie, Sam's wife said.
"Yes Mama," Elanor said, just as Frodo-lad bounced into Frodo's lap.
"All right," Frodo said, "so who wants to hear the Yule tale about a nutcracker and a girl?"
"No!" Frodo-lad screamed.
"Ooh, ooh! Me, me!" Elanor cried, raising her hand.
"Not this tale," Pippin Took squeaked, entering the parlor. "How many times do we have to hear the same story?"
"It's not that long ago," Frodo said.
"Yes it has," Merry Brandybuck joined in, lounging in a rocking chair. "I'm too exhausted to hear this."
Frodo started the story either way. "One winter's eve, there was this girl named Clarissa, who adored Yule. She was handed a nutcracker: a toy that cracks walnuts. Well, one day Clarissa Burrows was swept into the nutcracker's world, where there was an assortment of holiday sweets and foods from all corners of the nutcracker's venture. Of course, he ended up facing a rat king, who wanted nothing more than to steal the nutcracker's land and values. Well, the nutcracker wouldn't have that."
He paused to catch his breath. "However, it resulted in Clarissa's death at the hands of the rat king. The only way the nutcracker could save her and be prince again was proving his love to her. He wept and his tears healed the young girl. She was permitted to visit the kingdom at any time, until she drew her last breath and became queen of the nutcracker's candy and sweets world, where they lived in harmony for years to come.
"The end." He looked up, only to be welcomed with silence.
Pippin clapped solemnly, "Well. That is your version of the story." He chimed in. "Well, I have a tale you will most likely want to hear, children. Much better than Frodo's tale."
"I was putting my spin on the tale," Frodo said. "I would be given the chance to tell it differently, if you'd like."
"No. I think we've heard enough," Merry said.
"Oh, why shouldn't he be given another chance to tell it differently?" Pippin whispered.
"Well kids, here's my tale for you," Merry said, getting Elanor and Frodo-lad's attention, who squirmed out of Frodo's lap and into Merry's arms. "Here's the tale of a sightseeing elf whose name is Sam. Sam was a lonely elf who wanted nothing more than to be with his true love, Rosie the ballerina. They did everything together, until Sam got separated from Rosie. For days, Sam felt his heart weep in sorrow. Would this turn out to be the quest for the Ents? Yes it was, who reminded him that his true love would find each other again.
"Well, one winter's eve, when Rosie had her annual ballet performance, Sam the elf found his way into the theater. Nay! He couldn't reach her. He would have to try something more snazzy. Ah! A rope. Perfect! He would throw himself into her arms… if only the Ewoks hadn't shown up at the last second…"
"Wait a minute," Frodo asked, suspicious, "there's Ewoks in this story?"
"It's a Yule tale, Frodo. Think creative here," Merry said, prodding on with his tale. "Anyway, oh what was Sam to do? The Ewoks would surely… oomph! Nay! Scratch that! They formed an Ewok ladder, upon which Sam found his way onto the stage, planted Rosie a kiss and celebrated their love with a feast, merry gathering, and a wedding, in which they would have children and lead happy lives. And I must say they lived happily ever after. The end."
Merry looked up, a smile on his face. "How was that?"
"I would think you outdone yourself this year with a story, Merry," Frodo said, stunned.
"You made me an elf?" Sam whimpered. He admitted, still shocked, "I would have liked it better to be a hobbit. But I don't mind an elf."
"I was a ballerina," Rosie said, shocked but impressed.
"Okay. It's my turn," Pippin said, hoisting Elanor and Frodo-lad onto his lap. "The tale I'll tell you this time around is about a giant named Frost and Pippin the noble hero. Frost was a treacherous snow beast, only found in Winterheight. Now Pippin who had been told stories of the frost giant hadn't expected to find much about the creature. But when he first laid eyes on the beast, he was frightened, too frightened to do much of anything.
"But Pippin was daring and he fought the beast. They fought and fought until they came to an agreement. It was then that Yule had arrived. Pippin was delighted by many frozen treats, but fell into a nasty coma, filled with snow, ice and all the treats that came from the frost kingdom. Oh, how could Pippin ever wake up from this deep slumber? He was awoken by a kiss from a fair maiden named Diamond. Pippin was so grateful to see her that, in their honor and his return, he was greeted by a yummy Yule log. He enjoyed it immensely, but couldn't help thinking about the frost beast, who he had befriended. They would be reunited, even as Pippin found himself returning to the frost kingdom every Yule in his dreams.
"What became of the frost beast?" Pippin shrugged. "We may not know for many long years. The end."
"Wow Pippin." Merry chimed in. "That is quite the tale."
"It had a snow beast in there, Merry," Frodo said. "It's quite fascinating, those tales of hobbits finding creatures in the woods. Creatures we have yet to meet… and get a glimpse at."
"I know that much, Frodo," Merry said.
"Alrigh'," Sam said, taking Frodo-lad and placing him on his lap. "It's time for ol' Sam to tell his tale." He paused, took a breath, and began his tale. "Once, one Yule evening, there was this man called Longshanks and this hobbit named Lotho. Both were cruel and mean to those who sought them out. Well, one day, Strider came to town and offered them a loaf of bread for good behavior. Neither man nor hobbit wanted the gift. So the next day, Strider presented to them a glass of hot chocolate, one glass to each man and hobbit. Once again, they refused. By evening, of the Yule festival, Longshanks and Lotho were presented with a cow, a glass of milk, and a chocolate Yule log for their good favor.
"You want to know what became of that Yule log?" Sam asked his children, who shook their heads. "Neither asked for the Yule log, but it came with a message and warning: to not leave leftovers, or the hobbit Lotho will devour the log whole."
"Sam," Frodo said, interrupting the tale. "Lotho may have been bad, but even he got what he deserved, even though it was cruel."
"On a lighter note," Sam finished the tale better, "Lotho and Longshanks remembered that the Yule log was a presentation meant for the feast and festival. And that pleased everyone in the end. And for that, Happy Yule! Now let's eat."
And it was a good Yule feast. The Yule log was cut and eaten, as well as the festivities that continued to shine at home. Frodo felt relieved. It was good that something joyful came from the Yule festival. Frodo couldn't have ask for a better holiday like this one. And that's all that mattered in this day and age… or rather in the few minutes before Pippin devoured the Yule log whole.
Still, he was happy to be with friends and family this holiday season.
Stories mentioned: The Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffmann, the New Line Cinema movie "Elf", Jack Frost story, movies involving heroes and creatures, and A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Thanks for reading. :)