It wasn't until he heard a loud crack that he pulled himself out of the wall and sat up. His jaw dropped as he looked around. He slowly got to his feet and made his way to the wall intercom.
"Rec room to bridge," he said as he pressed the button.
"Stevens here. Merry Christmas!"
The rec officer looked at the clock and saw that it, was indeed Christmas Day, if only barely. 00:02.
"McCain here, Lieutenant, and Merry Christmas to you, too. Someone's decorated down here, sir."
"Yes, I've seen it. Very nice."
"No, sir, you don't understand." McCain paused as he wondered if what he was seeing was really there. "I mean, someone in the last five minutes came in here and decorated the hell out of this place."
There was a long silence on the intercom. "Be right there," the lieutenant said and cut off the intercom.
McCain stood in the center of the room and turned slowly in place, growing more and more amazed by the second until the door swooshed open.
"Now, what do you...mean..." Stevens's voice trailed off as he saw what McCain was talking about.
"What the hell?"
"I don't know, sir. I was reprogramming the food replicators for Christmas, getting it ready fot the goose and the pudding and everything. I wasn't in there even five minutes. I heard a noise, came out, and..." He waved a hand at the room around them.
"Know what I think, Chief?"
"I think my dad lied to me. There really is a Santa Claus."