If there is coal in any Minnesotan's Christmas stocking, best advised to stoke it up for warmth.

The National Weather Service (NWS) on Sunday is reporting that a high — yes, it's still called that — of 0 is forecast for the Twin Cities on Christmas Day.

The Twin Cities hasn't seen such cold on Christmas since 1996, when the mercury topped out at 9-below.

And that deep freeze is on its way for virtually all of Minnesota, according to the NWS.

The Arctic air will be settling in just as a certain North Pole resident in a red suit is making his rounds, with windchill readings of 20 degrees below zero anticipated.

"If outdoors, dress in layers, cover exposed skin and do not wear any wet clothing," reads the latest hazardous weather outlook from the weather service.

"Make sure any outdoor animals have warm shelter," the NWS added, while failing to say whether that includes reindeer.

Only two times in recorded history has the low in the Twin Cities dropped below zero on Christmas: 6-below in 2008 (with a high of 26) and 17-below (with a high of 12) in 2000.

Those presents may be unwrapped on Monday, but that won't be a wrap for the extreme cold in the metro. The weather service says it "remain in place through midweek," with windchills sliding even further toward 30-below.

Tuesday could mark a second day of not registering a positive integer for the day's high in the Twin Cities. The NWS then envisions a slight warmup and possible double-digit readings above zero by Thursday.

On Saturday, Gov. Mark Dayton issued an executive order in response to a request from Clay County, in northwestern Minnesota, to activate emergency shelters for anyone in need of shelter from the extreme cold. The Fargo-Moorhead area is a busy hub for travelers, particularly during the holidays.

The order authorizes the opening of the Moorhead armory and help from the National Guard as needed to provide aid and shelter during the looming cold spell.