Feast of the Giant Winged Muskrat
Date observed & holiday substituted for
The Giant Winged Muskrat, our Great Lord, needs no origin story. It has always existed and always will exist. Any who question Its Divine Existence will suffer Its Holy Wrath.
Traditions & rituals
In order to win favor with the Mighty One, each person wishing to be spared its Holy Wrath must perform specific rituals and routines. Failure to do so will result in being flayed alive by The Giant Winged Muskrat, all members of the family being poisoned with neurotoxins, and every possession burnt to a cinder.
Starting at midnight (GMT) on December 20, acolytes begin canning marmalade in preparation for The Giant Winged Muskrat's return to earth. There must be as much marmalade made as possible, from whatever supplies the family can afford. The more marmalade produced, the better the chances the acolyte will survive The Giant Winged Muskrat's return.
At the height of each hour, acolytes must eat a single pretzel and perform a complicated zumbalimbo routine in honor of The Giant Winged Muskrat. This must continue until midnight on December 25. The acolytes are permitted seven hours each day to get some rest, but one person must be available at all times to perform the ritual. At midnight on December 25, the family joins together and chants the traditional prayer eighteen times:
"Please do not flay us with Your Thorny Tentacles, O Great One, nor sting us with Your Poison Ears. Please spare us from Your Holy Wrath, I beg You."
At the conclusion of the chants, the family stacks all the marmalade they were able to make in a pyramid on the coffee table. They then put on the traditional footed pajamas and walk backwards to their beds. They must remain in their beds until midnight on December 26. If December 26 comes and no one has incurred The Giant Winged Muskrat's wrath, the acolytes are then permitted to leave their bedrooms.
Upon gathering in the family room, the acolytes then begin cooking an enormous feast in celebration. The feast must include three different meats, typically turkey, duck, and eel. Side dishes vary by region and family tradition, but dessert must always be pistachio flan and only pistachio flan.
Traditional letter to The Giant Winged Muskrat
All acolytes must write a letter to The Giant Winged Muskrat. This letter should include any presents the writer may wish, praises for The Giant Winged Muskrat, pleas for forgiveness, and must include the traditional prayer. All letters must be folded into an origami swan and placed in a ring around the marmalade offerings.
Example of typical letter:
Dear Giant Winged Muskrat,
I promise I have been a very good girl this year. I have eaten all my pretzels and performed my daily zumbalimbo routines In Your Honor. I ask that this year, You not bring death and destruction to my family. I have only eight jars of apple marmalade to offer You as a sacrifice, but I pray that You will take pity on me and accept my humble offering. Please do not flay us with Your Thorny Tentacles, O Great One, nor sting us with Your Poison Ears. Please spare us from Your Holy Wrath, I beg You. Also, I would like a Nook. And my brother needs a job.
We who are inferior in Your Presence
P.S. My husband would like a new table saw, only if it is Your Divine Will.
P.P.S. Please don’t dismember us.