Many, many years ago, in a small town in Lapland, a woodcutter found a small boy lost in the woods while coming back from his daily work. The woodcutter decided to bring back the small boy into his home, hoping that the boy’s parents would eventually come looking for him.

Time went by and no one showed up. Nico, which was the boy’s name, was sadder than ever because Christmas was coming and he was constantly reminded of the celebration at home with his parents and siblings. The word spread, and the townspeople agreed that it was necessary to help Nico: “We must do something to cheer him up. What if each of us gives him a present?”

The days passed and the townspeople worked tirelessly to prepare the presents. Finally, Christmas Eve arrived. Since they wanted their good deed to be a surprise, they waited for Nico to go to sleep before leaving the presents at the woodcutter’s house. On Christmas morning, Nico opened the window and was happily surprised to see a mountain of presents, all of which were meant for him. He liked that gesture from his new neighbours so much that when waking up every morning after that, he did so with a smile.

The following year, as Nico still hadn’t found his family, the villagers decided to do the same good deed again. This became the custom, and every Christmas morning, Nico’s door was full of presents.

Due to that, Nico grew up happy thanks to the love of his neighbours; so happy, in fact, that he eventually decided to return part of that happiness to others. “No child should be sad on Christmas”. Thus, he proposed to his two best friends to bring gifts to all the children in the neighbouring towns. “But there are lots of children, where will we find so many toys? And how will we get them to all their houses in a single night?” said one of them. The Christmas Star overheard Nico’s plan, and to reward them for their good intentions, the magical star gave Nico and his friends a wondrous sack full of toys that could never become empty, as well as a sleigh pulled by flying reindeers.

“We must coordinate to be able to do it well, we don’t have much time. And we can’t leave the gifts outside because they will become damp by the snow, we have to think about the best way to leave them inside the children’s houses without waking anyone,” rightly said Nico’s friend. “Several ideas occur to me. Let’s do a test first. We can use my house as a model for the houses where we want to leave the presents and rehearse our plan there”, Nico proposed. Nico’s friends though that it was a great idea, and they all set forth with this idea in mind. After rehearsing for several days, they finally came to the conclusion that the best option was to go down the chimney to get into children’s homes. They trained over and over again until the plan was perfect.

And Christmas Eve arrived. As night fell, Nico donned his red and white coat, his matching hat, and his black snow boots. He loaded the magic sack in the flying sled and went to pick up his friends.

They flew to all the towns in the region, and in all the houses they left toys and sweets for the children, always putting them into the socks that children hung from the chimneys to dry by the fire.

The night was drawing to a close. Nico and his friends hurried back to the woodcutter’s cabin. With the first light of dawn, the magical sack and the sleigh disappeared.

The three young boys were very happy to have completed their mission successfully. “In the end, despite our worries we were able to reach all the children’s homes,” said the older one. “But not everything went as in the rehearsals. We had some trouble getting in, and a little girl almost saw us because she woke up because of the noise!” said the younger one. “Maybe now that we are done and we are calmer, we can sit down and review how the night has gone. That way we can see what worked and what we can improve for the next year,” Nico suggested.

“That’s an excellent idea!” “Yes, it is! And I think a hot chocolate will help us think better.” Said both of Nico’s friends.

And so, with the satisfaction of a job well done and a full stomach, our friends went to rest.

Written by Lidia Gómez, HUBc Team.

In memory of Miliki, the clown who dedicated his life to bringing magic to the hearts of children.

This story is inspired by the children’s musical “Había una vez”:




The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute endorsement of the contents, which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.