3 – The Toy Maker

There was a time of year that George always looked forward to during winter. He anticipated the days his family spent the winter together. Father didn’t have to work so much while mother kept busy in the kitchen making pies and other delicious foods. The house was filled with the wonderful aromas that came from the stove. After dinner, the family would settle in front of the fire. Mother would tend to her mending while father smoked his pipe and told wonderful stories. On one of these nights, as the family sat around the fire their father was telling them about the toy maker.

“He goes around bringing toys to children,” said the father. “He puts them in his sack and delivers them one by one.”

“Who is the toy maker, father?” the youngest spoke. “What does he look like.”

“That’s the thing,” the father scratched his chin. “Nobody knows.”

“Wadda ya mean nobody knows?” said George. “Hasn’t anybody seen him?”

“No, not exactly,” said the father. “He comes when everybody is asleep. He doesn’t make a sound and he leaves before anybody gets the chance to see him.”

“Why doesn’t he want us to know who he is?” said the youngest.

“Maybe he’s coy,” said mother.

“That can’t be,” said father.

“But, he always comes, doesn’t he father?”

“Of course,” the father winked.

Just then from the corner of George’s eye, he believed to see a figure at the window. They shouldn’t be expecting anyone, were they, thought George? He turns to look, but the figure is gone. Curious, George walks over, cups his hands to the window and looks out into the cloudburst of snow. He sees a figure walking away from the house, a sack thrown over his shoulder. Could that be the toy maker? George wondered. He wanted to believe he had seen the toy maker.

The next few nights, George anticipated the arrival of the toy maker and the toys he had once left for him and his sisters. It wasn’t much what he got from the toy maker, but it was more than what his parents could spare. His father barely made much money to buy them gifts. Their mother instead would make them little cakes for their birthdays and Christmas.

They always celebrated Christmas with food, stories and laughter. It was a great time, but this Christmas when it came around the toy maker didn’t leave toys for George and his sisters. They hadn’t seen him for many winters.

“Maybe he got behind,” said father. “He’ll come.”

But George and his sisters didn’t believe it. Two more nights came and went and no toys were left on the footsteps of their home. His sisters grew upset and so did George. He wondered if the man he saw a few nights ago was the toy maker. Why had the toy maker stopped coming?