It is with greatest pleasure that KALEIDOSCOPE happily presents once again this traditional Christmas tale retold by Elizabeth Amy Janke…
Once upon a time, there was a poor woodcutter who lived with his wife and three children in a log cabin on the edge of town. The eldest boy in the family was named Nicholas, the middle brother was named Robert, and the youngest little sister, who had just turned five years old, was named Ilsa.
Soon it would be Christmas, so the children went into town to the toymaker’s store to look at all the toys. There were dolls nestled in their dollhouses, spinning, colorful tops, toy soldiers lined in a row, and many other wonderful things. Robert said to his little sister, “Ilsa, which toy is your favorite?” And Ilsa replied, “Oh, that little box of blue dishes, that is my favorite of them all!” She then imagined just how much fun it would be to have the grandest tea parties with these dishes, but she knew that they were too much money for her family to buy them for her.
So, on Christmas Eve, the children hung up their stockings, even tough they knew that they were just too poor to expect much this year. After supper, Nicholas went out to play with the other children while Ilsa and Robert sat by the fire talking about the toys they had seen in town. Ilsa wished, “I do so wish that I had those little blue dishes…” Then, she became very sleepy and was carried of to bed by her father.
As soon as Ilsa drifted off to sleep, Robert ran to his bank. He found only one penny inside, but still ran all the way to the toy store in town to buy his sister a gift. Robert asked the toymaker, “What can I buy for one penny?” and the toymaker replied, “Only a little candy heart with a picture on it…” “But I want that set of blue dishes for my sister,” Robert said, and the man replied, “Those cost ten cents,” so Robert had no other choice but to purchase the candy heart to the toymaker with that one penny; he hurried home with the package, placed it in Ilsa’s stocking, and then went off to bed.
Later on that night, Nicholas came home, cold and hungry. As he sat by the fire, he noticed how bumpy the bottom of Ilsa’s stocking looked. So Nicholas reached inside the stocking, and pulled out the candy heart. Before realizing what he was doing, he ate the entire heart! He began to think that this gift was meant for Ilsa, so Nicholas went to his bank, removed his savings of ten pennies, and went to the shop of the toymaker, asking, “What can I buy for ten cents?” and the man said, “Well, I have very little left, but there is still a little set of blue dishes for ten cents.”
Nicholas purchased the blue dishes, went home with the package, and put it in Ilsa’s stocking; On Christmas morning, the children raced down the stairs to look in their stockings, and Ilsa began to cry, “Oh, look at my stocking!” She was ever so excited to see the blue dishes tucked inside her stocking. Robert was amazed; He never understood how his little candy heart magically changed into the box of the little blue dishes.