Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

An unexpected package from Santa December 6, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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WHEN A SMALL PACKAGE arrived in my mailbox on Tuesday with a Merry Christmas! From: Santa Faribault, MN 55021 return address, I had no clue what I would find therein.

But, oh, the sweetness of this surprise moved me to tears at the thoughtfulness of the mysterious Santa who clearly read my recent post, “Passing a love of books onto the next generation.” In that post I reference a favorite childhood storybook, Three Billy Goats Gruff, and my regret at not purchasing a copy spotted at a Pequot Lakes antique shop.



That reader took my post to heart and sent me a vintage copy of Three Billy Goats Gruff. See why I’m thrilled with this unexpected gift. This individual gifted me with a book that I hold dear.



Now, rereading this story as an adult, I like it even more:

I’m not afraid,” said Little Billy. And up onto the bridge he ran—trip-trippety-trip!



This fairy tale of three billy goats attempting to cross a bridge under which a mean troll lives inspires bravery. The trio outwits the troll and gets safely to the other side and a hillside of lush grass. The empowering message of strength and courage proves as applicable for children as for adults.



As to the identity of Santa, I have only a few clues—the name NANCY ANN OLSON stamped inside and that Faribault postmark and return address. I don’t know any Nancy Olsons. The giver could be someone other than an Olson. Or it could be Nancy. I have no idea.

But to you, dear anonymous Santa reader, please know that your gift of Three Billy Goats Gruff touched me deeply. I am grateful for your kindness, which truly exemplifies the spirit of giving. Thank you. And Merry Christmas!

© Copyright 2017 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


30 Responses to “An unexpected package from Santa”

  1. dalmatianangel Says:

    My favorite book since age 4 was “Nurse Nancy”. A coworker gifted me an old copy in great condition over 30 years ago. It is one of my treasures.
    Enjoy your book.
    Nancy Keech Graumann

  2. Go Grandma Says:

    This is so awesome – what a sweet surprise. Such a classic book too.

  3. Jenny Says:

    So Sweet!

  4. Almost Iowa Says:

    How sweet!

    DISCLAIMER: I always rooted for the troll. 🙂

  5. How Wonderful and Oh Such a Nice Surprise 🙂 Happy Day – Enjoy!

  6. Jackie Says:

    Such a nice and thoughtful surprise for you. I LOVED reading this story to my kids when they were little, I wonder if they remember it. I remember changing my voice to a low loud, “Trip trap, trip trap”. Enjoy your sweet treasure.

  7. What a beautiful gesture for a very deserving recipient!

  8. Don Says:

    It’s always good to know when your are on Santa’s NICE list! Oh the memories that books can bring back. My grandpa/grandma would read me this book when I was a wee youngster, and I am sure that Izzy will enjoy it too. Whom ever you secret Santa may be, they done good!!!

  9. Randy Wrighthouse Says:

    What a great surprise. Our twin 4-year-old grandsons just discovered how fun the library can be and love to check out books.

  10. There were a lot more Billy Goats in our younger days and Trolls.

    Passing on the love to a beautiful person whom GIVES so much. xxxx

  12. Beth Ann Says:

    What a lovely Christmas surprise!

  13. Valerie Says:

    I love the whole idea of surprising someone with a book at Christmas, in the mail. Such a great gesture.

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