Sunset Shimmer snapped awake when she heard a sudden bump seemingly come from above. She looked at Pinkie Pie, who was snoring in her bed. Pinkie Pie had been gracious enough to let Sunset stay at the Pie residence for the upcoming Christmas holiday, and she was grateful that the homeless shelter agreed to not give up her bed for the evening.
A few hours ago, they had been sitting around the table, eating all sorts of delectable foodstuffs and engaging in the holiday cheer. Sunset Shimmer was pleased that she was able to spend Christmas with a family, even if it wasn’t hers. She had heard so much about it on the television and radio and finally got to see what all the fuss was about.
But then she asked about Santa Claus, and the answer shook her to her core.
From what she had gathered from Pinkie Pie, Santa Claus was some kind of burglar who would steal your cookies and give you gifts in return. And Sunset wasn’t about to let that rapscallion abscond with any of the Pies’ cookies, oh no. Tonight, the cookies in this house would remain unmolested.
Her heart caught in her throat when she heard heavy footsteps emanating from the roof. She slowly unzipped her sleeping bag and reached under Pinkie’s bed. She visibly flinched when she heard a thud coming from downstairs, smiling when she lay her fingers on her prize.
From under Pinkie’s bed she pulled a sledgehammer, inconveniently heavy for a normal human. But Sunset was no normal human; she was a unicorn in a human’s body. She slowly eased herself up, hefted the sledgehammer in her hands, and sneaked out of the room. She took great care to creep across the hall and down the stairs, entering the living room at the bottom. It was then she saw the home invader.
Santa Claus, the cookie thief—eating one of the stolen goods right in front of her!
He was standing there, clad in red from head to toe munching on a cookie while looking over a list he held in the other hand.
Sunset Shimmer gulped.
All right, this is it. For all of the cookies in the world, you’re going down!
She tiptoed across the floor, steeled herself, and took a mighty swing right at his head. She did not expect what happened next.
Santa dropped the cookie and caught the head of the sledgehammer in his open hand, and the cookie froze in place.
“I thought I already dropped off your present, Sunset Shimmer,” he said, his voice taking on a tone that reminded Sunset of Princess Celestia’s.
Sunset’s body was awash in cold fear. “I live in a homeless shelter, you thief!”
“Is that so?” he asked. He took a few sniffs, then chuckled warmly. “You’re not from around here, are you?”
Sunset’s eyes popped open. “How the hay do you know that?”
“Well, for one, ‘hay’ is a rather uncommon expletive in this area,” he said as he turned around, still holding the head of the sledgehammer. “Plus, you reek of magic alien to this world.”
Santa arched an eyebrow. “Tell me... why did you attack me?”
“To stop you from stealing my friend’s cookies, you burglar!” Sunset growled.
Santa blinked, seemingly taking in what Sunset said. He then let out a low rumble of a chortle that morphed into a hearty belly laugh, leaving Sunset confused. “You mean,” he finally was able to get out, “you mean to tell me that you swung a sledgehammer at an immortal over cookies?”
Sunset steeled her gaze. “Yes, you dirty ape. Now hands off Pinkie’s cookies!”
“Fine, fine,” Santa said, “I’ll leave your friend’s cookies alone.” Santa then lowered his head. “You know, many people have tried to kill me in my long years. Some for fame, others for wealth, and even more to try and gain my power. But you’re different.”
“How so?” Sunset said, wearing a snarl on her face.
“You’re the first one to try and kill me for friendship, however misguided your actions may have been.”
“What’s that supposed to mean, you jerk?”
Santa beamed. “Nothing. It’s just so rare that I see someone attempt something so foolhardy over a selfless act.”
“You’re not the first immortal I’ve met.”
“I suppose not. Well then, have a merry Christmas!”
And with that, Santa disappeared. Sunset followed through with her swing, throwing her off balance, and the half-eaten cookie dropped to the floor. Sunset steadied herself with the sledgehammer and looked around to notice that there were several presents under the Christmas tree that weren’t there before, including a small one encased in red and yellow wrapping paper that seemed to call out to her.
She lay the hammer on the ground, walked towards the tree, and knelt down, picking up the present in her hands. She noticed a small card taped to it labeled S. Shimmer. She opened the note and read what was written inside.
For proving that the magic of friendship extends beyond all sane bounds, even in this world.
Sunset stared at the box, then ripped open the wrapping to reveal a small, brown cardboard box. She set down the box, opened it, and gasped.
Inside was a worn, red, conical hat with a white trim, which revealed itself to be some kind of animal fur when she picked it up. She placed it on her head and found that it fit perfectly. She hummed contently and headed back upstairs, proud of herself for protecting her friend’s cookies.
Sunset Shimmer woke up to Pinkie shaking her.
“Santa came! Santa came!”
Sunset blinked and shook her head. “That’s nice, Pinkie.” She neglected to mention that she had protected her baked goods from the robber. “How can you tell?”
Pinkie squealed. “Because he ate the cookies I left out! By the way, nice Santa hat, Sunset!”
Sunset’s eyes popped open as she snarled.
You filthy liar! I’ll get you next year, Kris Kringle!