Field Journal – Christmas Day

PERSONAL FIELD JOURNAL, JUNIOR FIELD RESEARCHER #1.987
GALACTIC SURVEY FLEET
PLANET AND SPECIES NAME (NATIVE): EARTH, HUMAN
SPECIES CLASSIFICATION: FULL OF HOLIDAY CHEER

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Christmas!

While the galactic research council quibbles over the subtleties of this human celebration, I have made an incredible breakthrough!

(An epiphany! It’s as though my inner and outer eyelids have been opened for the first time!)

For the past day, I have been listening to a single human radio transmission over and over, letting its subtleties osmose into my forebrain.

This transmission explains everything: the relationship between Santa and Christ, the celebratory nature of Christmas, and even provides great insight into the intricate and even beautiful nature of human religion.

The transmission is titled “Santa Baby”.


Even the title links the two great gods of human worship: the omniscient sky-god Santa (who sees you when you’re sleeping, and knows if you’ve been bad or good), and the mysterious figure Christ (also known as Jesus, and often referred to as a “baby” or “babe”).

It also reveals much about how humans celebrate their religion. Note for example:

Slip a sable under the tree for me
…a ’54 convertible too, light blue
I want a yacht and really that’s not a lot

Human society is clearly such that even the simple and kind act of giving must be invited. (I find this astounding. Truly, humans must be the kindest and most charitable species in this quadrant!)

Been an awful good girl, Santa Baby
So hurry down the chimney tonight.

Again, this is an affirmation of living within the bounds of proper behavior as prescribed by Santa Baby. The fact that this Santa Baby — whom I now understand to be a sort of di-une, or two gods in one — is invited to enter the home through the chimney suggests that Santa Baby is a sky-god.


When I first heard this Earth broadcast, my tentacles twinged in delight: this single transmission explains everything about the human species and its Christmas. Obviously, the humans are an incredibly deep, religious people with a beautiful culture dedicated to selfless giving. Rarely does a junior researcher stumble upon such a find!

I see little need to continue our hidden studies: I recommend to the galactic research council that we immediately make first contact with Earth, and welcome them into galactic society with tentacles spread wide!

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Field Journal – Angels We Have Heard on High

PERSONAL FIELD JOURNAL, JUNIOR FIELD RESEARCHER #1.987
GALACTIC SURVEY FLEET
PLANET AND SPECIES NAME (NATIVE): EARTH, HUMAN
SPECIES CLASSIFICATION: MADE OF MEAT

angel1

The research council is in an uproar! For the past several Earth days, I have studied the human custom known as “Christmas”. My analysis of their radio transmissions suggests that Christmas is a period of mournful depression and solitude, in deference to their chief god, Santa.

Recently, though the translator-brain has flagged additional radio broadcasts, which throw my analysis into confusion.


Transmission #1 started the fiasco. The translator-brain flagged it for further review, after it was unable to translate the following phrase:

Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

At first I dismissed it as irrelevant: Christmas is not mentioned anywhere in the transmission. However, the translator-brain insisted on a strong correlation with other, more relevant broadcasts. This led me to:

Transmission #2, titled “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”. Frequent in this broadcast is the word “Christ”, plainly related to Christmas. The word occurs in the context of a deity born as a king.

Christ is born in Bethlehem
Christ by highest heaven adored
Christ the everlasting Lord

(How foolish I’ve been! Even a soft-shelled hatchling, still feeding on plankton, would have brains enough to search whether Christmas had a root word!)

Further investigation revealed this Christ figure, also referenced as Jesus, Lord, Emmanuel, Prince of Peace, and various other honorifics, appears in numerous other human radio signals. In fact, this being is a sort of man-deity, with a richer story even than Santa and Rudolph.


My tentative working theory (which I have not yet presented to the research council) is that this figure is coequal with Santa: Both appear quite often in the context of Christmas, yet their descriptions are so different that they cannot be the same being.

Clearly, the human celebration of Christmas is much more complex than this junior researcher had ever anticipated. I must continue this study for greater certainty (lest I appear foolish in front of the galactic research council once again).

Field Journal – Blue Christmas

PERSONAL FIELD JOURNAL, JUNIOR FIELD RESEARCHER #1.987
GALACTIC SURVEY FLEET
PLANET AND SPECIES NAME (NATIVE): EARTH, HUMAN
SPECIES CLASSIFICATION: NON-KOSHER

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Many questions have arisen about the nature of the season that humans call “Christmas”. Based on my previous research entry and notes, the galactic research council is convinced that Christmas is the time when humans worship the great red god named Santa, as well as the lesser rain-god named Rudolph.

However, many (including myself) wonder whether Christmas is a time of jubilant celebration, solemn reverence, or even fearful and panicked human sacrifice. After a full day of analysis, I posit that Christmas for humans is a time of depression bordering on total despair.


To reach this conclusion, I programmed the translator-brain to search human radio transmissions, correlating Christmas-related keywords with various human emotions.

During the time period of the search, these transmissions were detected, correlating with negative emotions of wistfulness, sadness, loneliness, longing, depression, and despair.

The following transmissions express depression over the departure of a mate during the Christmas season. (The frequency of such transmissions suggests that Christmas is not a mating season as some originally thought, but rather a time when mated pairs of humans separate.)

  • “Please Come Home for Christmas”
  • “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”
  • “Blue Christmas” (Note: “blue” is a color in the human visual spectrum linked to sadness.)
  • “Same Old Lang Syne”

The following transmissions express various other negative emotions. (These are ordered alphabetically according to the galactic standard alphabet.)

  • “Christmas Shoes”
  • “Wrapped in Red”
  • “Pretty Paper”
  • “If We Make it Through December”
  • “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”

(The translation-brain has become quite adept at translating human transmissions for emotional content. After reviewing some of these broadcasts, I found all three of my beaks quivering in anguish.)

Christmas-related transmissions exist expressing positive emotions as well. However, even some of these seem to be insincere, with the translator-brain scoring transmissions such as “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” quite highly on the Logarithmic Sarcasm Scale.

While this does not fully answer the question as to the nature of Christmas, it does suggest that the observance of Christmas is a lonely and depressed affair for humans. Further study will be needed to verify this hypothesis.

Field Journal – Re: Santa

PERSONAL FIELD JOURNAL, JUNIOR FIELD RESEARCHER #1.987
GALACTIC SURVEY FLEET
PLANET AND SPECIES NAME (NATIVE): EARTH, HUMAN
SPECIES CLASSIFICATION: HARMLESS

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At the urging of the chief researcher, I continue my study of the human cultural phenomenon known as “Christmas”, begun in my previous field journal entry. Both of us are now reasonably certain that “Christmas” is a human festival of great religious significance.

(I still wonder whether “Christmas” to the humans is a solemn celebration, like our Feast of Fricasseed Entrails, or a more joyous festival, like Scampering Day?)


Transmission #1 is titled “Rudolph the Red Knows Rain, Dear”. The translator-brain warns of significant uncertainty in its analysis — indeed, parts of the translation are unintelligible. However, this “Rudolph” is undoubtedly linked to Christmas, which is mentioned multiple times.

Several other proper names are identifiable: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, etc. Perhaps these are the names of gods worshiped by humans. If so, Rudolph is a god of even greater importance: A keyword search reveals that “Rudolph” occurs more frequently in recent broadcasts than all of the other names combined.

Analyzing the title of the transmission, the human color red is closely linked with Christmas. I have tentatively identified Rudolph, or Rudolph the Red, as the humans’ rain god, though Rudolph also seems to have influence over other weather phenomena, such as fog.

Christmas appears to be a celebration of a great feat attributed to Rudolph, as well as another possible deity named “Santa”.


Transmission #2 is titled “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”.

If the first transmission provided evidence of a human rain god named Rudolph the Red, this transmission provides near-incontrovertible proof that the humans worship a powerful deity named “Santa Claus”. A keyword search reveals that Santa Claus (or just Santa) is even more closely associated with Christmas than is Rudolph.

This Santa-being possesses omniscience:

He sees you when you’re sleeping
He knows when you’re awake
He knows if you’ve been bad or good

The humans hold Santa as a force to be feared:

You better watch out
You better not cry
You better not pout

Christmas appears to be a time to prepare for the imminent coming of Santa. Thus it is reasonably clear that Santa is the supreme god in the humans’ pantheon.

I suggest that Rudolph the Red is Santa’s most trusted underling. The translator-brain has also identified a correlation with the names “Saint Nicholas” and “Kris Kringle”. These may be other, lesser deities beneath Santa.

It remains unclear where Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen fit within the framework of human religious worship.

Field Journal – Earth

PERSONAL FIELD JOURNAL, JUNIOR FIELD RESEARCHER #1.987
GALACTIC SURVEY FLEET

PLANET AND SPECIES NAME (NATIVE): EARTH, HUMAN
SPECIES CLASSIFICATION: PRE-CONTACT

earth1

To date, we have had only limited success in studying the humans from orbit. Our chief researcher has, at great difficulty, developed a translation program for their radio broadcasts. I have now been assigned to study the humans’ radio-frequency transmissions.

(Personal note: My first assignment! I’m so nervous my upper tentacles won’t stop shaking!)

So far, I have translated two of their transmissions.


Transmission #1 is titled “The Twelve Days of Christmas”. It appears to be a simple counting progression — perhaps used to teach their young hatchlings how to count?

Much of the content cannot be translated: words such as “partridge” and “lordsaleaping” remain unknown. However, the deliberate progression from one to twelve suggests a base-twelve counting system.

Therefore, it seems probable that humans are dodecapedal, possessed of twelve tentacles, much like the Belrazi species from the Greeelar system. This will be helpful in understanding their mathematics.


Transmission #2 is titled “Last Christmas”. This broadcast is much more informative: I highlight two excerpts:

Last Christmas I gave you my heart, but the very next day you gave it away

Once bitten and twice shy. I keep my distance, but you still catch my eye.

In context, this transmission apparently explains human mating rituals. (Quite a coup! Many species are not as forthright about the subject.) It appears that human mating involves ritual organ removal, accompanied by biting. In this regard, humans are much like our own species.


Potentially most interesting of all is the subject of “Christmas”, common to both transmissions. The chief researcher suggests that “Christmas” may be a human cultural event of significance. I will continue to study the matter.