Docking in the Navidad sector of the Alpha Quadrant above a Class L planet, shore leave has been granted and all ashore has been called freeing all crew members from their duties and responsibilities. This planets name and arctic climate makes it a crew favorite for celebrating Christmas.
Planet Noel is a winter wonderland.
With Skiing, tubing, sledding and sleigh rides there is always something to do here. Hot cider with cinnamon, hot coco with marsh mellows and flavored coffees wait for them along side warming fires when they come in from the cold.
Another favorite is tree trimming. No tree is cut down but rather the trees are decorated right were they grow. The end result is a forest of Christmas trees blinking a dazzling array of lights. The tree you trim is where you will find all your gifts Christmas morning.
If you are a nature lover this planet offers snow birds, reindeer, moose, penguins, polar bears and Yeti to name a few.Then there are the wonderful Clydesdale horses that pull the sleighs. These intelligent animals are driven by our hosts the Barnums.
Who are the Barnums? These beings are only three feet tall and have pointed ears. Skilled craftsman and artisans the Barnums live to give and to serve. Their uncanny abilities to move unseen and appear right when needed give them an almost magical quality. Their true gift is their singing. Time and again they will stop and sing a hymn. Which is all they sing. Hymns that praise the Lord. Yet there is truly something magical in their song. For you feel somehow closer to God when they sing.
A candle light service on Christmas eve is held in The Cathedral. This enormous structure is built completely from ice. Massive blocks of ice were cut using ancient stone cutting tecniques. Then they were assembled using the style of interlocking without use of structural supports. When the masons finished the artisans continued the work. From the hundreds of statues in the inner and outer courtyards to the scroll work on the pews of the sanctuary all of the ornate decorations are sculpted from ice.
The result is the most breath taking Cathedral ever built. All the Barnum’s gather here Christmas eve to Sing hymns until dawn. The sounds and effect of their singing is the most wondrous thing about Noel.
When this planet was first charted the Federation did not know what to make of it. Noel lacks any known political system. There is no government or rule of law. There are no leaders. Each Barnum seems to have only one thing guiding them which is to serve God and praise him. In fact their entire culture is centered on this. Each Barnum claims to know from birth what God desires from them and wishes nothing more than to please him.
Even the Cathedral lacks any leader or clergy. At the front of the Cathedral is a throne. On the throne is the Holy Book know as the Word of the Lord. Services consist of nothing more than singing praises to the Word of the Lord. Who the Barnum’s say will one day return again in the flesh. This is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Unable to make diplomatic headway the Vulcan science academy was brought in to study this planet and the Barnum’s culture. Most cultures build one upon another. Civilization on civilization. Here there are no cultures prior to the Barnum’s. No ancient cities in ruin. In fact they themselves record no history. There are no founding fathers or great law makers or organizers who are remembered or honored. They no nothing of a first Barnum or how their community was built. In their culture only God is important.
Their dwellings are Nordic in style. The structures remind me of king Theoden’s great halls of Rohan from Tolkiens Lord of the Rings. Long thatched roofs, stone walls and heavy wooden beams just adds to the winter wonderland effect this place has. All of these structures surround and face the Cathedral which is at the center of all things.
Through the course of interaction with them we did learn some things. They like their own clothing which is red and green with jingle bells sown in. Their red and green dress along with stocking caps and pointed shoes makes one think of Santa’s elves.
The first landing party called them elves and suggested they worked for Santa. The Barnum’s became very upset. “We are Barnum’s. We work for the Lord.”
First rule… never call a Barnum an elf.
Second rule never mention Santa…Ever.
Barnum’s serve God.
The third rule we learned is everyone gives everyone a gift. One of the first groups that came for Christmas had a couple of crew members who didn’t get along. Here on Noel it is more important to give than receive. Everyone is expected to give everyone a gift. Which the Barnum’s are excellent at helping with. When these two crew members refused to exchange gifts the entire planet shut down. Every Barnum surrounded these two crew members to the point where they couldn’t move. They were not angry or hostile.
They just kept repeating one word…
When these crew members finally reconciled the Barnum’s were the happiest anyone has ever seen them.
I would record more but we have a snow ball fight with a group of Yeti scheduled shorty. Which is a lot like David vs. Goliath. Rather than capture the flag it’s capture the candy cane.
They are three feet long here. A favorite of the Yeti.
What lessons can be learned from our time on Noel?
First, put God at the center of your life. Do everything to please him.Take the time to praise him. Second, forgive others. Don’t go through the holidays with hate in your hearts. Forgive and love each other.Third, put others before yourself. It is better to give than receive.
Lastly, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”Luke 10:27
Fill your hearts and minds with his word.
Place Christ on the thrones of your hearts.
Until next year…
May the Love of Christ be with you always….
…Live long and Prosper
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