Snow fell gently down to the streets of Mushroom City in the waning hours of another December evening. A myriad of toad shoppers ran to and fro in a frantic search to find the best deals, the cutest decorations, or that video game system their child just had to have in one of the various shops that were lined up and down virtually every street. In the middle of all this hustle and bustle, a somewhat tall and thin man wearing a heavy, green, winter coat and a knit cap with an 'L' embezzled on the front weaved between shoppers, desperately trying to keep his grip on the plethora of shopping bags he had his arms around. Bells from within the bags jingled as he dodged his way down the sidewalk, their rhythmic ringing being interrupted every time he bumped into someone.

"Whoops! Excuse me, mam," Luigi apologized as he knocked into yet another female toad, "kinda having a little trouble keeping all these things balanced, you see. Heh, heh..."

Eventually, he reached the street where he remembered parking his car. Unfortunately, the snowfall was beginning to pick up, and all the cars parked on the side of the road were already transformed into identical snowdrifts.

"Oh, great..." Luigi moaned, "Stupid snowplow musta pushed all the snow on the street right on top of all these cars! How am I supposed to find my car in this?"

Suddenly, Luigi got an idea. While managing to keep all the bags in his arms, he stuck his hand in his coat pocket and pulled out his car keys. Looking down the side of the street, he pushed the 'Panic' button on his car remote, expecting to receive a very big clue as to where his car was. However, quite unexpectedly, the sounds of a blasting horn came from behind Luigi, startling him. He leaped about a foot into the air, tossing his bags higher into the sky, while their contents were launched even higher. Thankfully, he managed to land back on his feet, grab the bags on their way back down, and catch all of their contents back into the bags. Having recovered (and without losing a single thing), Luigi whirled around to see the flashing headlights of his car penetrating through a snow bank behind him.

"Oh, there you are..."

Carefully setting his goods down, Luigi walked over to his car and began dusting the snow off it. It took a good five minutes before he finally managed to free the Green Fire out from underneath the snow. After he was done with that, he grabbed his bags and placed them onto the back platform of his kart, as it didn't truly have a trunk (or a roof, for that matter). He then took out a rope and wrapped it around the luggage and the handlebars, securing it to the car.

"Phew!" Luigi sighed, wiping his brow, "Okie dokie, I got everything I needed! I better start heading home before this weather gets any worse!"

Luigi climbed into the driver's seat of the go-kart and drove off. As he navigated the city streets, he took his time to observe all the shop windows he passed by, assuming his view wasn't blocked by a large number of toads who collected in front of the windows to see them themselves. As he left the business district and drove into the residential area, the huge crowds slowly dissolved, but signs of Christmas were still everywhere. Driving down a decoration-strewn street, Luigi turned on the radio to listen to some Christmas songs as he went.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Let your heart be light
From now on,
our troubles will be out of sight

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Make the Yule-tide gay,
From now on,
our troubles will be miles away.

As the song continued, Luigi had finally left the outskirts of Mushroom City and was now driving through the countryside, where once rolling green hills were now covered in a blanket of snow. A short time later, he finally reached his destination: Mario's Pad. Although he had 'won' a huge, luxurious mansion about five years ago, he still liked to spend the holidays with his brother, Mario.

Pulling the car into the driveway, Luigi climbed out, grabbed all the bags in the back, and made his way to the front door. Having no free hand to knock, he simply made due with kicking at the door.

"Hey! Mario!" Luigi called in, "Open the door! It's-a me, Luigi!"

No response. Luigi set the bags down, pulled out the extra house key he always kept around, and opened the door himself. At this point, it was almost completely dark outside, and the temperature was almost below zero, so it was quite a relief for the green-clad plumber to enter the warm home. He set his bags on the kitchen counter and immediately began searching for Mario. It didn't take him very long to find him: Mario was in the living room, sleeping in an easy chair by the fireplace.

"There you are, Mario! Come on, bro, wake up!"

Luigi nudged his brother, but he simply shifted his position in the chair and remained asleep. Undaunted, Luigi returned to his shopping bags and pulled out a Christmas CD he bought. Walking over to the stereo system that was right next to Mario, Luigi put the disk in, selected the track, cranked up the volume, and hit play.


"MOMMA MIA!!!" Mario shouted, jumping out of his chair. Luigi laughed as he quickly turned the stereo off.

"Are you up now, bro?" the younger brother jested.

"Yeah, and with a ruptured eardrum, thanks to you..." Mario grumbled, cleaning out his ear with his pinky finger, "I don't recall asking for a wake-up call..."

"Well, I needed to get you up somehow... Besides, I finally got us our decorations. Wanna help me set them up?"

"Sure! I'd be glad to! It's my house, after all!"

The Mario Brothers walked over to where Luigi left all the bags and began dumping their contents out onto the kitchen table. Mario promptly began looking through everything.

"Let's see here... Wreaths... Scented candles... About ten miles of Christmas lights... Huh? What's this?"

Mario held up what looked like very skinny pine tree.

"Oh! That's an artificial Christmas tree!" Luigi explained, "I was getting sick of having pine tree droppings all over the carpet after the holidays, so I finally broke down and got a fake tree."

"Are you sure it's a tree? Looks more like some sort of Yuletide baseball bat."

"The guy said it has 'easy set-up', so I guess it just sort of opens up when push a button or something," Luigi continued, taking the tree out of Mario's hands, "where do you want this thing set up?"

"Um... Over by the fireplace is good, I guess."

Luigi took the tree over to where Mario directed and set it down. He then began to attempt to open it.

"Okay... So I presume that the button's under here somewhere..." Luigi pondered as he felt around the base of the tree, "Ah, ha! Here it is!"

He pushed the button and, suddenly, the tree expanded like an umbrella, knocking Luigi backwards into Mario, causing both of them to fall to the ground. Apparently, the tree was also pre-decorated, as when the brothers recovered, they saw a tree filled to the brim with ornaments, lights, candy canes, and a huge star on the very top.

"Gee... Talk about your instant gratification..." Mario mumbled, "Whatever happened to decorating the tree?"

"Beats me," Luigi replied, "there must be some verrrrry lazy people out there... Anyway, the tree's up, let's work on the rest of the house!"

And so they did. With Christmas carols slowly playing in the background, Mario and Luigi began 'decking the halls' of their humble abode.

"So, you got any plans for Christmas, Mario?" Luigi asked as he lit a scented candle over the fireplace mantle, "Is Peach throwing another party this year?"

"Actually, I'm not sure..." Mario replied, setting up a small, festive shrub on the middle of the coffee table, "She usually sends the invitations out by now, but I haven't gotten it yet."

"Maybe she just figures you'd come regardless," Luigi joked.

"Right... I'm starting to think maybe she's planning something... different this year. I dunno... What about you? What plans do you have?"

"Well, I was thinking about inviting Daisy over for Christmas. I hear they don't get much snow in Sarasaland, so I think she'll enjoy finally having a white Christmas."

"Heh, heh, if you do that, she's going to your house. This place is a confirmed bachelor's pad!"

"I'll keep that in mind..."

Eventually, the Mario Bros. finally finished decorating their home. Relaxing on the sofa, the brothers admired their work.

"Phew! This is why I don't decorate often!" Mario sighed, sipping on a glass of eggnog.

"Oh please, it wasn't that bad!" Luigi countered, "At least I didn't make you do the outdoors stuff. It's freezing out there!"

"Yeah, but I bet you'll make me to that tomorrow morning, aren't you?"

"Um... Maybe..."

There was a few minutes of silence as the duo enjoyed the songs that continued to come from the stereo.

"Well..." Mario began as he let out a big yawn, "I think it's time we went to bed, eh? You're bed's still where it should be."

"Good thing," Luigi replied, getting up from the sofa, "otherwise I'd have to go back to my mansion, and I'm not braving that weather again!"

Luigi walked over to the bedroom. Sure enough, his bed was still there, right next to Mario's. He promptly changed into his pajamas and climbed under the sheets. As he began to drift off into sleep, he listened to the carols still coming from the living room.

Here we are as in olden days,
Happy golden days of yore.
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Gather near to us once more.

Through the years
We all will be together,
If the Fates allow
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough.
And have yourself A merry little Christmas now.