♠♥☼ The Gift Bringer ☼♥♠

Claus was a young man in a small village in the middle of Europe back in the early days when schools were not for the common child. Claus had been an apprentice carpenter and had learned his trade well but when war came he had to go and fight. When he came back he was unable to work anymore. I cannot tell you if it was his ears ringing or his nerve that had gone but he sat in his little cabin and did nothing but watch the villagers.
He noticed that the children did not play. They learned to talk and walk and then as soon as they were big enough they went to work in the factories with their parents or out on the farms or doing things around the village. Claus didn’t like what he saw. When he had been away to war he saw in other villages children playing laughing dancing singing but the children of his village didn’t and he realised they had nothing to play with. So he started whittling at a piece of wood. Soon he began making small figurines and more and more things. When he had enough for each child in the village he waited.
Then on the night before the Holy Day he bundled all these toys up and crept around the village and placed a toy in a child’s stocking hanging drying before the fire. The next morning there was much hallaballoo as the children woke to find their gifts. They played all day with them and each other and were happy.
Claus had seen the joy and happiness the children had from his gifts. No one knew where they had come from and that had added to the magic of them, the specialness of them. Had they been magic down the chimney? Who brought them? Smiling he set to in secretly making more for the following year.
But the next day the children had to go back to work. Some longed to stay home and play with their gifts others tried to bring their gift to work with them. The toys soon severely distracted the children and made their work production bad and the furious factory owners banned the gifts and warned the parents to lock their doors to prevent more!
So when Claus noticed his gifts were no longer played with he also noticed the children were sad again; possibly more so. He decided to make better toys and worked harder on it. But came the night before the Holy Day he found the doors locked. Some houses he was able to reach through windows others to crawl through the wood hatch the most difficult ones he had to part the thatching and then resettle it. But he managed to place each gift in the little stockings hanging by the fire.
This new batch made the factory owners very mad and all the people were scared they would lose their jobs. But Claus was more determined than ever. His toys were giving the children the chance to imagine the chance to dream and that then became their education, giving their minds something more than a life of just repetitive work!
The parents started to notice the change in their children too. The fear of losing their special gifts again gave them purpose to do their work and their chores better and to help wherever they could. But still the factory owners banned the toys and banned the parents from allowing this magical mysterious Gift Bringer any access into their home.
Claus still made his toys but on the eve of the Holy Day the factory owners had men patrolling the villages. So Claus took his toys to the forest and found a tree that had branches deep enough to hold them. Over the years Claus had learned the names of the children and so he made tags with their names on and attached them to each toy and hid the toys in the boughs of the tree. Then he took sprigs of holly and small stalks of pine boughs and entwined them into small rings and hooked them on the front doors of the children’s homes. He watched and waited and saw the faces of the children who had woken to no toys and then sadly had prepared for church. But when they saw the wreaths on their doors they knew there was something special in the woods. The families went off to church for the day and then on their way home in the evening went for a walk into the woods. Claus had ringed the special tree with small candles and lit them as a beacon to the families to come and find. And when they looked up to the top of the tree there was a star shining just above the tip as if it was attached to the tree!
Children then soon learnt to keep their toys safe and only play with them when they had free time. Then the factory owners could not complain about it! The next year though there was a very heavy snow fall and the children were worried about the presents in the tree in the wood. So they decided to tell the Gift Bringer that their door was unlocked by leaving a lit candle in their window and hanging a wreath on their door. They hung their stockings as always for their gifts and also brought a small tree inside for the Gift Bringer to see. They too put small candles in the tree and made a star to sit on the top like the tree in the wood.
But the Gift Bringer did not bring the gifts. And at church the parents noticed Claus was not there. One father slipped to the strange lonely man’s cabin and found him dressed in his polished big black army issued boots and fur lined hooded cloak, slumped over his last sack of toys. Fearing the children would never have happiness again the father collected the sack and made Claus’ rounds.
When he told the other parents they told the children that Claus had been the Gift Bringer and that he was now dead and unable to do so again. The following year was a cold and bleak year and the Holy Day was just as bleak without the
hope and magic that Claus’ gifts had brought. The parents decided to recreate the magic of the Gift Bringer and secretly worked on making gifts for their children.
Came the morning of the Holy Day the children woke to find their stockings once more contained a gift.
This was magic indeed for they knew Claus had died Had he become a holy saint for his good deeds? The parents noticed the happiness return to their children and vowed to continue the magic of Claus’ generosity forever more!

Merry Christmas! -

The Gift Bringer © adgray 2009

♠♥☼ The Gift Bringer ☼♥♠

adgray

Frankston, Australia

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Artist's Description

My youngest has turned 12 and knows the truth about “Santa” but he is of the age that he really wished he could still believe.
When my eldest turned this age of awareness I wrote this story for him and each time my children became this age I retold this story.

It is an important step for children as this indicates their maturity beginning. It tells us parents that we can allow them more room to make their own decisions and mistakes and be on their own more and be more responsible for themselves. It is the first of the apron strings untied and as such should not go unnoticed!

This year I have my youngest two living with me to share Christmas Morning! They have not heard this story yet and so I wrote it out for them (they’re waiting in books for the unwrapping and discovery!)

Then I thought I’d post it – I hope it may help other parents to cope with their children growing up and becoming mythologically aware!

I hope your Festive Season is Wonderful and your New Year Brilliant!
Chookas! ♥

-

♪ O Tannenbaum ♪

Sung By Nat King Cole in German!

Artwork Comments

  • Edyta Magdalena Pelc
  • Chris Clark
  • AmandaWitt
  • Alex Gardiner
  • Vicki Ferrari
  • wigs
  • Enivea
  • GailD
  • DuranDuran
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