Matt leveled his gaze at Krista. He said, "Yes?" and his voice drew the word out from a growl to a hiss.
"Weren't you also the Norse God of Justice?" she asked.
"Well, yeah. So? War to the Greeks or justice to the Norse--pretty much the same thing. What's your point?"
"Well, I'm wondering if we'd asked to celebrate Yule or Saturnalia, whether you'd have approved that."
"Yule, sure. At least that holiday wasn't named after someone else."
Krista shrugged. "But you get the whole first month of spring named after you, in addition to one of the days of the week. Why are you getting so pissy over one day named after someone else?"
Matt sighed. "Okay, point taken. Go ahead and celebrate the day. Call it Christmas, or Yule, or Saturnalia, or Hanukkah, or Festivus, or whatever you wish. RJ, you're in charge of the tree. Go find a good tall pine for the great hall, but don't go near the Forbidden Forest."
"Forbidden Forest?" Krista asked. "Are you being serious, Matt?"
"Of course not. This isn't Hogwarts."
The timid mood broke with Matt's joke and turned celebratory. RJ spun on his heels and left to gather a tree-cutting detail. Krista called Phoenix, Birch, and the other mages to her to plan decorations. Matt, meanwhile, pulled several strands of energies to him and began knitting them together close to his chest. He thrust his hands out toward the knot of humans, opening them with a flourish. Krista and Crystal both gasped.
"That's--beautiful!" Krista said, reaching for the tree topper that Matt had created. Crystal smiled, trying to hide a blush, as she realized that the little angel was actually a replica of herself, with a glowing aura surrounding the flowing white dress.
"Thank you," Matt said. "I'm sure you can find enough supplies around the estate to decorate adequately. There's only one problem remaining, and unfortunately it will likely completely ruin your celebration."
"What is it?" Krista asked.
"There's no WalMart available."
Krista's smile lit up her face as she winked conspiratorially at Matt and said, "Oh, I think we can manage."
(To be continued)