Christmas Capers at Onion HQ

We’ve been getting more and more festive here at Onion HQ as Christmas approaches, and this week (spurred on in particular by a two hour internet outage) an inter-departmental Christmas Decoration-off has escalated to new heights of competitiveness (everything turns into a competition here, even baking). It was brought to a head today, as two cockatoos were sent forth to settle the matter fair and square, their tale (and most importantly, judgement) follows!

On a dark and stormy day, two unsuspecting cockatoos found themselves caught in battle – a battle that would define one independent publisher for many Christmases to come.  Armed with nothing but a notepad and measuring tape, they could only offer an opinion – and the hope that this might be enough to bring peace to the land and save Christmas.

Publicity
Spot the tinsel in the Publicity department

The Publicity Department got the bauble rolling with a strong defence, and whilst they appeared not to care about the outcome, their subtle but effective nod to the timeless tale of The Grinch showed more sentiment than could ever be expected.  Byron, the tallest of the cockatoos, is suspected to have shed a tear from the sheer emotion he felt.  Sally, the brilliant and beautiful cockatoo, was distracted by Baxter, the Grinch’s ever faithful sidekick, who true to the story, attacked Santa’s hat with gusto.

BookSnowmanAll of a sudden, the sweet smell of baked goods led the intrepid cockatoos to the Children’s Marketing Department. Ignoring the siren song of the freshly baked treats, however, they focused their super-avian powers of concentration and resisted temptation. They had a sacred task to fulfil – the judging of the Christmases. And Children’s Marketing had gone all out! Not one but FOUR Santas were in the cave with no lights!  And what colour! Reds and greens and gold! Some colours the cockatoos had never even seen before!  Presents, tinsel, Santas and a glorious, literary snowman!  But where were the elves?  Byron and Sally grew worried that perhaps the Elves were hidden away due to poor working conditions. As they left, feathers aquiver with anxiety over the fate of the elves, they spotted a sad pile of chocolate elves – a transfigured sacrifice? A grim warning? Or perhaps a delicious treat to lift the spirits of the office? We may never know. Marketing Onwards the brave cockatoos journeyed, to the fabled land of the Trade Marketing Department. But how could they enter?  There were candy canes in the way!  The cockatoos, who had not yet learned to fly, were not certain whether they would ever be able to get through.  Christmas was ruined!  Or so they thought until one of the friendly locals told them that it was in fact tradition to ‘limbo’ through the canes.  Luckily the cockatoos were both fit and flexible – and gorgeously tanned – so in no time they found themselves surrounded by a world of lanterns and stars. A classy touch of the Orient, quite the counterpoint to previous stops on their journey.  What wonder the cockatoos felt, as they twirled and danced until they were dizzy.  Byron especially enjoyed the healthy snacks, Sally loved the scones.   But they couldn’t stay forever, they were on a quest – a quest that they must see through!   SalesMary2

With wearying step, the cockatoos made their way to their final destination – the Sales Department. Sally was lagging, but Byron harnessed his inner Wenceslas by exhorting her thus:

Mark my clawsteps, good my page
tread thou in them boldly
thou shalt find the judging stage
shining up so goldly.

It was well they persevered, for greeting them was a scene snipped straight from many a kindergarten Nativity play! Mary, an angel and a manger, awaiting the birth of the eponymous hero of our tale! Such clever use of personnel certainly cheered the cockatoos’ spirits. The rest of the sales team had clearly been busy with decorations, and the personalised stockings were a real hit with Byron and Sally.

BadSantaMaryAlas, a judgement must be passed, or level one would forever live in a state of Christmas crisis.  Byron and Sally squawked throughout the night, knowing that an end must come to this festive fight. And so we arrive at the end of our tale; the cockatoos have decided and the drums are rolling.  The winners of the Christmas Decorations Grand Slam Department Vs Department Showdown 2014 are…

Children’s Marketing! KidsSantaTeam To celebrate Christmas, we’re giving away lots of books with our 12 Days of Christmas Giveaways and on our Teen Facebook page, while if you guess how many books make up our Book Snowman you can win our favourite fifteen kids and teen titles that make it up – enter below!

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