“Merry Christmas!” Charles shouted from the entryway, his arms wide.
“What the hell, Chuck, you’re like, a month late,” said Anne.
“Yeah, but I wasn’t here for it. So, you know, belated Christmas.”
“That’s not a thing.”
“Sure it is,” Charles started to slough of his winter wear and hand it to Anne, who stood holding a hanger. “You have, like, twelve days afterward.”
“Okay, sure, but that’s not what the twelve days of Christmas are, and you’re also way too late even for that.”
“No way, you can take any twelve days after Christmas and wish someone a merry Christmas. It’s how it works. That’s why people have Christmas in July, so they can use up any remaining twelve days before the Summer Solstice Demons get their soul.”
“…what?” Anne put the hanger in the closet, her face a study in confusion.
“If you haven’t used up your twelve days of Christmas before July twenty-first, then the Summer Solstice Demons will grab your soul and bring you ill fortune for the rest of the year. Then you get a bunch of bad gifts for Christmas, but you have boxing day to fight for a better year.”
Anne stood, dumbstruck by this, unable to protest the logic.
“It makes sense now, right?” Charles said. “So start wishing your merries, Anne. The sooner you get your twelve in, the better your fortune for the rest of the year. Solstice Demons love the early finishers.”