Before Santa became the famous holiday figure we are all aware of, he was a Bishop that would do secret good deeds for those who lived within his community. Leaving gifts for the less fortunate and helping pay off debts of families using his inheritance, Santa was known as Nicholas of Bari. Nicholas was the descendant of a wealthy landowner and when his parents passed away, Nicholas sold all of the holdings and became quite wealthy, although he found no need to have worldly possessions. All he wanted to do was to help out those who were less fortunate. This is all documented in the Hinklemyer family journals, as Edward Hinklemyer documented his life and travels he had with Nicholas, as well as, his family history going back to the Bethlehem Star and the birth of Jesus, but that is a story for another time. Edward has been helping Nicholas for some time now with his deliveries, but more about that in the Hinklemyer family journals… this story’s focus is on how Cupid and Santa met.
The story begins one Christmas Eve night when Nicholas and Edward were sneaking through the shadows making their secret deliveries and they noticed that someone had already left some gifts at some of the homes. Curiously, they snuck ahead quicker to see who was doing this and to find out who the other secret gift giver was. As they rounded one corner of a back alley, they saw a woman sneak out of the shadows and she snuck down the street bending over at each doorstep and leaving small little candies and oranges.
Nicholas and Edward decided to follow her, trying to stay out of the light and making sure to not be detected. As they went down the street, they left a few more gifts at each door step. When they sensed that the woman thought she was being followed, they would duck back into the shadows and wait for her to move on again. This game went on all night long and as the sun began to rise, the woman covered her head with the hood of her cloak and she swiftly ran off down the street.
Although they were excited about what they had accomplished for the night, Nicholas was a little disappointed that he could not find out the identity of the woman who was also leaving gifts secretly on Christmas Eve. Edward and Nicholas shook hands and agreed to meet up again next year, as Edward needed to make his way back to his elf village in the woods and Nicholas was ready to get some breakfast and take a very long nap after making his journey the previous night.
As with previous years, now somewhat a tradition, Nicholas found his way closer to where he lived and thankfully his favorite tavern was open. As his stomach made a strange noise, he opened the door and went inside the tavern where candles were being lit by a woman who surprisingly was wearing the same color cloak as the woman he was following all night.
"Oh, excuse me," she said, “I’m just opening up. Go ahead and grab a seat and I will be with you in a moment.” Then she disappeared into the back room. Nicholas found a table and sat down and yawned. “You sound like you need more sleep,” said the woman, as she came from the back carrying a carafe of coffee and a mug. Nicholas looked at her as she sat the mug down on the table and began to pour the coffee. “What can I get you?” she asked. Nicholas just smiled and said, “well we can start with your name.”
The woman stood back and looked at him in shock. “Sir, we will be getting busy here pretty soon, so if you would like some breakfast, I need to know what you would like… or would it be just the coffee this morning?”, she replied.
Knowing that he messed up their first meeting, Nicholas just ordered his normal eggs and bacon and sat there quietly the rest of the time. When he was finished, he wiped his mouth with his napkin and laid it on his plate. Quietly, he looked over at the woman, now extremely busy since there were more customers in the tavern as he stood up, put on his coat, reached into his pocket and left a gold coin on the table. Not looking up he just turned towards the door and left.
Over the next few months, Nicholas would frequent the tavern trying to get another opportunity to speak with the woman. He wasn’t good at all when it came to speaking with women, especially in a romantic way. It has been months since he and Edward noticed this woman in the streets and he still didn’t even know her name. How was he going to get to know her? How was he going to find out her story? Would this woman be someone who would be interested in him? Is Nicholas even looking for love? All of these questions were just making him frustrated and consumed with the quest of finding out more about this mystery woman.
Not to deviate from our story here, but it needs to be said that Edward would always keep an eye on Nicholas from a distance. He would always make sure he was alright and just checked on him from time to time. You see, it was believed by Edward and his entire elf village, that Nicholas may be the chosen one that has been written about that would reunite the entire elf nation and lead them all into safety and out of the woods, so it was beneficial that they should keep an eye on Nicholas and his welfare. There was one thing in the written legend about that chosen one where Nicholas did not fit the description exactly. It was written that the chosen one would have a mate that shared in his love of giving to others. Could it be that this woman, that they had seen leaving gifts, is that person and Nicholas’ mate? Edward had to go and confer with the village elders.
During a conversation Edward was having with the elders about Nicholas’ situation, one of them came out with a scroll that had the legend written on it. “It says here, the elves could possibly help encourage the romance of the chosen one, but only through special secret means,” said the elder. “What does that mean?” asked Edward. “Well, we just happen to know a way we could do this, let me try to get a hold of Father Time, and see if it would be possible to get Cupid involved,” said the Elder. “You mean you actually know Father Time and Cupid?” ask Edward. “Well of course we do,” replied the elder, “we are magical elves.”
A few more months went by, and Nicholas left his home and started walking down towards the tavern. It was extremely early in the morning and he knew that the woman would be there alone opening up for the day. He talked himself into the encouragement to find out who she was and at least getting her to share her name with him. He started across the street and felt a sharp pinch in his left shoulder. Almost like he got stung by an insect. He stopped quickly and looked around, but only heard a giggle sound. Nothing was there.
As he entered the tavern, it was still a bit dark and all of the candles were lit and there was already a fork sitting on the table at the chair he normally sat at, with a hot cup of coffee already poured. He went over and sat down and noticed that there was another place setting across from him.
He quickly looked around just to make sure this was the right table and noticed the woman coming out of the back carrying two plates of food. She walked over to the table and placed one in front of Nicholas and one across from him. “I thought this morning, I would join you,” she said as she smiled.
“What is the sudden change of heart? Not that I don’t welcome the company,” said Nicholas. “I’m not sure.” she said, “I just woke up thinking that I should have breakfast with you today since it is Thursday and you always come in for breakfast on Thursdays,” she replied. She reached into her pocket and pulled out a piece of paper and showed it to Nicholas. It read, “Sorry, closed today until lunch.” She walked over and put it on the outside of the door, closed and locked it, and came back over and sat down with Nicholas.
They sat there and enjoyed their breakfast. Exchanging information and having a great time. They learned about each other’s secret deliveries and why they did them, and Nicholas finally learned that her name was Carol.
Most of you know how the story turned out, but back to how Cupid and Santa finally met. You see, when Father Time mentioned to Santa about Cupid joining up with the Legendary Figures, Santa agreed but wanted to meet him. When they met, Cupid had brought up that they actually met in the past, but Nicholas didn’t know it. He asked Santa, “Do you remember that little sting you felt on your way to have breakfast with Carol that morning?” Santa did remember and told him Yes. “Well, that was my arrow,” said Cupid and winked saying, “your welcome.”
Santa just sat back in his chair and chuckled. They have been great friends ever since.