A Special Birthday
One evening the Goodjuls had invited Queen Jadwiga and the Kringles to have some tea and cookies with them. The fire was especially cozy, casting a lovely glow over the gathering of friends. Queen Jadwiga was interested to know what news Nicholas had gleaned from his recent visit to the trolls.
"While I was visiting my old friend, Daro, I met a well traveled old man who told me a wonderful story about a kindly old man named Nicholas, just like myself. This Nicholas was the Bishop of Myrrh in Lydia on the coast of Asia Minor, a place very far from here. This man gave each of three girls a bag of gold so she could marry."
"This Nicholas is the patron saint of sailors, bakers, travelers, merchants, and little children. Many good deeds were attributed to him. December sixth is his feast day."
"On that day children put their shoes on their doorsteps and when they awake on the next morning, the shoes are filled with treats for the good children."
Goodfellow Kringle said that that had reminded him of a story he had heard when he was very young about some strangers who had come to town a very long time before and said that they were on their way home after spending a long time following a most unusual star which led them to a family with a newborn baby. They gave birthday presents of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the infant. On their way home, these three wise men told everyone about the infant and the star.
"I know this story," said Queen Jadwiga. "The Poles and many other people celebrate the birthday of this child. This child was called Jesus, the Prince of Peace."
"It is said that his parents traveled to a town called Bethlehem and that there was no room for them in any inn where the couple could stay while they had the baby. In the end someone offered the use of a stable to the family and there the child was born."
Lavinia Kringle commented that it seemed that the whole rest of the world celebrated this child's birthday except for them, in the North Pole Village, but Queen Jadwiga said that one could not hope to know of every event in the world, yet alone to know what it meant.
"Well," said Olaf Larson Goodjul, "we know about it now. The question is, what, if anything, should we do about it."
"Let us bring this up to the council," declared Queen Jadwiga. Everyone agreed that this matter of Christmas was something that he would like to give some thought to privately.