“You find the human traditions intriguing, don’t you?” Nioll asked as the two ancient beings studied the party happening around them.
“How could I not?” Xiad replied.
A sneer: “I find these holy days primitive. Festivals celebrating a seasonal change based on the tilt of the planet’s axis? Childish.”
“It’s pronounced holidays.”
“An inconsequential distinction,” Nioll answered, dismissing the reply with a wave of the hand.
“And they’re not just celebrating the solstice,” Xiad continued. “At least, not exactly. Certainly they started by fearing the dark and cold, then rejoicing when the days got longer. But that is not what they celebrate now.”
“Oh? Then what is?”
Xiad watched the smiling humans. “Hope itself. The belief that goodness exists in the world and that it can overcome the evils and injustice that oppress them.”
“Then maybe they aren’t primitive, just naive.”
“Maybe. Or maybe we’ve grown too cynical. With all we’ve seen, maybe we need some hope.”
“Noble words,” Nioll admitted. “Worth consideration. Yet they continued to study their companion. “So . . . your love of these festivities has nothing to do with the egg nog then?”
Xiad looked down at the mug in their hands and smiled. “Well, maybe a little.”
* * *
Story by Gregory M. Fox