actual sugarplumsThe title is the classic description of Christmas-Eve dreams in the poem A Visit From St. Nicholas.

I have never in my life had an actual sugarplum. Never seen them for sale anywhere. Couldn’t have told you what they looked like, until I did an image search for this post. Is it a regional thing? (I’m from the East Coast US.) Christmas-observing readers from other parts of the world, what say you?

Programming note: This isn’t the original archive order of Interlude 4 (it was posted after chapter 22), or the chronological order (it’s a slight flashback, falling between chapter 17 in November 2010, and chapter 18 in January 2011).

The trade paperbacks use chronological order. The Master’s Edition omnibus uses online archive order. Both those decisions were made 100% for purposes of Page Count Convenience, not because one of them is the purer and more true place to set it.

So why did I re-shuffle it around to here in the Annotated Online Repost? Because it’s December.

Apologies to future archive-bingers, this won’t mean anything to you. But to the people currently reading along in realtime: enjoy.