The spirit of Christmas was all around the port in Bigg City. There were decorations everywhere, since Christmas Eve was only one day away. And with the festivities, the port was very busy. The Star Tugs were hard at work, setting up decorations, putting up trees, and other stuff. Ten Cents and Emily even repainted Jonathan Star’s megaphone. “Stars, this is not funny. Get back to work, now! We’ll have Christmas Carol practice this night, and I don’t want to expand the number of songs we have, so tell everybody don’t be late!” yelled Jonathan Star. The tugs giggled as the red-and-green megaphone shook about. “Do you tugs understand me?” “Yes, sir!” they said as they left the Star Dock.
Meanwhile, Walter Zero was sulking in his office in Z-Stack Headquarters. “Christmas is all a big excuse for not working. Yeah, you get to have fun, but you have to pay for fun, and you get money by working. Not prancing around putting decorations on everything. That doesn’t do anything. But the Stars have a way of doing that and making money. If I could just stop them from doing that and make us be able to do that….. Ah, that’s such a stupid ide-hey, what are you tugs doing down there? You’re supposed to be working! How long have you been listening to me? Get out!” said Walter Zero, realizing that the tugs were listening to him over the megaphone. “Okay, Okay, boss.” said Zorran. “Just trying to find out what you’re talking about.”
As the Z-Stacks got away from the dock, Zorran thought of a plan. “What if we do what Captain Walter was talking about, hmmm? For a surprise Christmas present? What do you guys say?” “All right with me.” said Zebedee. “Hated those Stars ever since the steel contract failure.” said Zip. “As a little Christmas gift." said Zug. “Okay let’s do this,” said Zorran. “For Captain Walter!” “For Captain Walter!” cried all the Z-Stacks in unison.
Back at the Star Dock, after a long day of work, the tugs were just about to go to sleep when Jonathan Star walked in. “Sorry I’m late.” he said. “There was a huge storm.” “Yeah, right.” snickered Sunshine. “Or maybe you fainted after hearing we were going to do another dock of caroling.” All the Stars began laughing, until Jonathan Star held his hand up. “We will begin with Deck the Halls, then move onto Jingle Bells, and end with We wish you a Merry Christmas. Any questions?” “When’s lunch?” asked Big Mac in his stupid voice. The laughter was heard a mile away, until it died down. Captain Star ignored him. “Any serious questions?” he asked, in his I-have-all-authority-over-all-of-you-and-if-you-disobey-you’re-sentenced-to-dredging-for-the-next-week tone of voice. “Do we have to do it today?” asked Sunshine. “We’re all so tired. Can’t we do it in the morning?” “Fine, if you’re all so tired, we’ll do it in the morning.” said Captain Jonathan as he turned out the lights. “Good night.”
Soon, however, the water began to freeze up into ice everywhere. Zebedee got an idea. “Hey, guys, why we don’t just push all of this ice over to the Star Dock. They’ll be trapped and won’t be able to work.” he said. “That’s a great idea!” said Zorran. “Get your snowplows on everybody! We’re going to bury those stars like Oscar the oil rig!”
When the Stars woke up in the morning, to their amazement, the exit was completely covered in ice. “Oh no, we’re trapped!” cried Emily. ‘We can’t get through. The ice is too hard!” said O.J. All the tugs began panicking, especially Sunshine. “We’re running out of air! Save up the oxygen! Quit breathing hard! We’re all going to die!””Wait a second,” said Big Mac. “Frank is still out delivering his rounds, and Hercules is coming in from Ggibs City!” Even though it was a time to panic, Ten Cents was suspicious. All that ice couldn’t have gotten there on its own. Somebody must have pushed it there on purpose…. Suddenly a large thump interrupted him, and the walls of the dock lit on fire.
Meanwhile, Hercules was coming into port when he saw Frank rushing towards the Fire Dock. “Frank, what is it, my dear?” he asked. “It’s all my fault, it’s all my fault.” he said, ignoring Hercules. “What is it?” repeated Hercules. “I was trying to break the ice that’s covering the entrance to the Star Dock. A red tug slammed into me and the extra fuel barrels on my deck fell over onto some munitions. It started this huge fire that lit the dock on fire!” he said. “But that’s good,” said Hercules. “Now the ice will melt, and the others will be free.” “But you don’t understand Hercules, it wasn’t just the ice that lit on fire, the entire dock did! Just look at that smoke over there!” said Frank, beckoning towards the smoke-covered sky. “You’re right,” said Hercules. “I'll get Mighty Moe to help get the tugs free from the ice, you go get the fire tug! We must hurry, or else the whole pier could burn down, along with the Star Fleet!"
Frank hurried down the canal to the Fire Dock where he saw Paul, the Fire Tug, decorating the Christmas tree. “Whoa, what are you doing here on Christmas Eve?” asked Paul as soon as he saw him. “No time for questions, Paul. The Star Dock is on fire! If we don’t hurry the whole pier could burn down.” said Frank. “Well, then let’s hurry. We can’t let this happen on the most important holiday of the year!” cried Paul, rushing towards the smoke.
When they got to the Star Dock, the only thing they could see was flames, smoke, melting ice, and the burned down Star Tug & Marine sign. With a sudden burst, Paul unleashed the water from his fire hose. Soon enough, the flames died down. After the ice melted, they found that the tugs were all safe. “We’re alive!” cried Sunshine, as happy as could be. "So much for Hercules's rescue." muttered Frank. “This couldn’t have happened on accident,” said Paul to Ten Cents. “Who do you think it was?” Ten Cents looked around carefully and then quietly said to Paul. “The Z-Stacks.”
Paul gave all the tugs snowplows and they rushed over to the canal leading to the Z-Stack Dock. But they were surprised to find the entrance to it blocked with piled ice. Then they heard a whistle. It was the Goods Engine, steaming right toward the ice, which had gone up on land. “AAAAAAAHHHHHH!” He crashed right into it and derailed. “Oh no, we’ll never get through!” said Sunshine. “Clear the way, my dears, we've come to rescue you.” said Hercules. He and Mighty Moe bashed through the ice, and Mighty Moe soon lifted the Goods Engine back on the rails. “Thanks!” he said, chugging away.
When they finally got over to the Z-Stack Dock, they found the Z-Stacks trying to get away with their snowplows on their deck. “Stop right there!” said Paul. “We did nothing.” they said. “Then let me inspect you.” said the Chief Police tug who had just arrived. “Mmm-hmmm. Mmm-hmm. Yes that’s good. Wait, Sidney’s Industrial Size Snowplow Property of Star Tug & Marine? Z-Stacks, you are under arrest for robbing, vandalism, deliberate enclosing, setting the Star Dock on fire, and numerous other charges.” he said. “Wait a second,” said Zorran. “Who set the Star Dock on fire?” “I did!” said Zug. All of the Z-stacks glared at him. “Uh, for Captain Walter? Heh, heh.” The police tug began taking the Z-Stacks away to the prison. “Wait!” said Ten Cents, Emily, Frank, and Sunshine. “Don’t arrest them. In the Christmas spirit.” The police tug hesitantly let them go. “Sorry about all the trouble we caused.” said Zorran. “We only wanted to please Captain Walter.” said Zebedee. “But you know, you did provoke us.” said Zorran. With that, the two fleets hooted their horns and sailed away.
After a long day of hard work both fleets met by Dender Rocks. “Captain Jonathan said we could carol later.” said Sunshine, so quiet no one heard him. They were all looking at a very big star in the sky. Then Zorran spoke. “If caroling, decorations, and getting presents aren’t what Christmas is about, then what is?” “I know,” said Ten Cents. “From Luke 2, verses 8-14,
'And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'
That means that at midnight tonight, the Lord Jesus Christ, the son of God, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, was born 1,941 years ago to Mary and Joseph in a stable’s manger to die for our sins 33 years later. Quite a story.” he said. “Oh.” said Zorran. The silence was defeaning. Then Sunshine broke the silence. "Silent Night, Holy Night," The rest of the tugs joined in. "All is calm, All is bright. Round yon Virgin, mother and child, Holy infant so tender and mild, Sleep in heavenly peace, Sleep in heavenly peace."