German Christmas Story             
                      Adapted by Jean Warren

Many years ago in a small German village, there was a family that had three children.  Hans was the oldest, Peter came next and the youngest only five years old was Gretchen.

On Christmas Eve, Peter and Gretchen were playing inside.  When it was time to go to bed, Peter helped Gretchen hang her stocking on the fireplace for St. Nickolas.

“What do you want for Christmas?” Peter asked.

“What I really want is a set of little blue dishes.” Gretchen replied.

After Gretchen went to bed, Peter looked in his money jar and saw one penny.  He took out the penny, put it into his pocket and went down to the local toy shop.  When he got there, he asked the shopkeeper how much the set of little blue dishes cost.

“The blue dishes cost ten pennies.”  Replied the shopkeeper.

“Oh, said Peter.  But I only have one penny.”

“Well, you cannot buy the dishes, but you can buy this nice red candy heart for one penny.” Said the shipkeeper.

So Peter bought the heart candy and took it home and put it in Gretchen’s stocking.  Then he went to bed.

Later, when Hans came home, he checked Gretchen’s stocking to see what was in there.  When he found the candy, he popped it into his mouth and ate the little red heart.

After, eating the candy, Hans felt bad for what he had done and he decided to go down to the toy shop and buy something for Gretchen.  When he got to the shop, he reached into his pocket and pulled out ten pennies.

“What can I buy for ten pennies?” He asked the shopkeeper.

“You can buy these little blue dishes.” The shopkeeper replied.

Hans bought the dishes then went home and placed the dishes in Gretchen’s stocking.

The next morning, when Gretchen looked into her stocking, she was thrilled to find the little blue dishes.  Everyone had a wonderful Christmas, especially Gretchen.

Peter, always wondered, however, how his red heart candy had turned into little blue dishes!